Abandoned Car Pulled from River
LOWELL -- An environmental group looking for trash along the shores of the Merrimack River found more than they expected Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the Clean River Project were boating near the Rourke Brothers Boat Ramp off Pawtucket Boulevard when they spotted a submerged car roughly 5 feet under the surface of the river.
“We knew exactly what it was because we have experience with cars at the bottom of the water,” said Rocky Morrison, founder and director of the Clean River Project.
Emergency crews were called to the scene and worked to ensure the vehicle did not contain a body.
“There was no one in it, and it was towed out of the water,” said Lowell Fire Chief Jeff Winward.
Once on shore, the car was found stripped of its interior, as well as its engine and steering wheel, according to Morrison.
Though this is the first vehicle the Clean River Project has turned up in Lowell waters, Morrison said the group has discovered 82 submerged vehicles in the Merrimack River over the last five years in Dracut, Methuen and Lawrence.
“Anywhere along (Route) 110 that’s got an opening and they can throw a car in, they’ll do it,” Morrison said. “Any kind of opening -- a turnaround, a boat ramp, through the woods.”
According to Morrison, the motivation for dumping vehicles into the river include insurance fraud or getting rid of a stolen vehicle.
The Lowell Police Department was not immediately available for comment.