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Three Killed in Iowa Truck Crash

July 11, 2000

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) _ A pickup truck carrying a woman and two young children drove off a road and plunged into the Missouri River, killing the three.

Witnesses said it appeared the driver made no attempt to stop the vehicle before it jumped off of a 25-foot river bank Monday evening at Narrows County Park, directly across the river from Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb.

``It didn’t try to swerve, no brake lights, nothing,″ said Conrad Santon, 26, of Omaha, who saw the truck from a dock about 25 feet away. ``I heard the engine rev up when they got close to the bank. It was insane.″

The truck nose-dived into the river and sunk within seconds, witnesses said.

``I heard kids screaming. The truck went under so fast,″ said Jeremy Johnston, 22, of Omaha, who was also on the dock.

Santon said he saw the truck sitting in a nearby parking lot about five to 10 minutes before it went into the water.

He said a man and woman were inside the truck and appeared to be arguing, and a young boy was standing outside the truck holding what appeared to be a BB gun. Police wouldn’t comment on Santon’s account.

The three bodies were recovered early Tuesday. Rescue workers in boats and on the river’s banks frantically had searched for the vehicle, with divers battling currents strong enough to pull off their face masks.

Authorities did not release the identities of the victims. As night fell, family members consoled each other and watched as rescue workers continued the search.

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