UPDATE @ JULY 8 | A 17-year-old woman has sadly died, after she was trapped in a car that crashed into a river in South Ballina yesterday.
Two 17-year-olds were travelling in the vehicle, when it left the road and plunged into the Richmond River just before midday yesterday.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, where the passenger had been able to escape the vehicle.
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Members of the public along with three police officers jumped into the water in an attempt to search for the driver and the vehicle.
Police have since confirmed that officers found the vehicle submerged six metres underwater, with the body of the teenage driver still inside.
The vehicle has been recovered and will undergo mechanical examination, with investigations underway into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
The three civilians and three officers who all jumped in the water will be considered for formal recognition.
EARLIER @ 5.00PM, JULY 7 | A driver is presumed dead after a car careered off a road in Ballina and plunged into the Richmond River.
The car left River Dr just before midday and ended up in the water.
A female passenger was able to escape the vehicle but the driver, believed to be a teenager, became trapped and could not be rescued.
Police are now waiting for divers to arrive from Sydney to search the vehicle and attempt to retrieve the driver’s body.
Inspector Anthony Smith says passers-by were first on the scene before alerting emergency services.
“Early early information is that someone has found the passenger and emergency services have been called from there,” Inspector Smith said.
“There’s a number of people that actually went in the water but the vehicle was located at least six metres below the surface, so it’s a long way down.”
— Lion Goldsworthy (@lion_golds) July 7, 2020
Several Police officers also entered the water in an attempt to save the driver.
Inspector Smith said those on scene did everything they could to get to the vehicle.
“We had Maritime Rescue and Surf Life Saving and some other resources there that helped us locate it but unfortunately the depth of the water just prevented it.”
The female passenger was shaken but uninjured.
Police are now appealing for any witnesses to the accident to contact Crime Stoppers.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.
EARLIER @ 1.15PM |There are grave fears for a driver in northern New South Wales this afternoon, after a car reportedly crashed off the road and into the Richmond River.
Emergency services were called to River Drive in South Ballina just before midday, following reports of the incident.
It’s understood the female front-seat passenger was able to escape from the vehicle. But the driver is still believed to be trapped inside.
A police rescue operation is now underway, but the car is yet to be found.
Officers from Richmond Police District, Marine Area Command, SES, NSW Ambulance, NSW Maritime, Marine Rescue and NSW Surf Life Saving are all at the scene working to retrieve the vehicle.
PolAir and police divers have since been deployed to the location to assist in the operation.
UPDATE: Police have confirmed the driver is still trapped inside a car which plunged into the Richmond River this morning. A female passenger was able to escape. @nbnnews @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/Iex5oNy5Ke
— Lachlan Grant (@_LachlanGrant) July 7, 2020
More to come.