Police recover vehicle of family feared dead in Tweed River

Tabitha Dunn
Апреля 5, 2017

A police rescue vehicle on McAuleys road, Tumbulgum, where a three people in their auto crashed into the Tweed River yesterday.

A New Zealand woman who drowned along with two of her children in northern New South Wales has been hailed a hero.

More than $36,000 has been raised in less than 24 hours for the husband of a woman who died alongside her two children when their vehicle sunk in the Tweed River in northern NSW on Monday.

Stephanie King, pictured with her children (left to right) Chloe May, Jacob, and Ella Jane.

Her mother and siblings were not able to get out of the auto and died inside their vehicle in the muddy river.

A SEARCH and rescue operation is underway at near Tweed Heads for a vehicle submerged in flood waters earlier this afternoon.

Police divers at the Tumbulgum scene.

Specialist police divers from Sydney arrived mid-morning on Tuesday to complete the grim and hard retrieval task.

Devastated friends posted messages online as they waited for the recovery operation to take place.

Sally Fraser, the best friend of Stephanie wrote on social media that the 43-year-old mum was an fantastic mother. We all hear how you fought and everyone that knows you isn't surprised but it breaks our heart that little bit more.

A witness, Peter Taylor, told Nine News the girl ran to alert residents after she managed to escape.

'I think it's gone from a rescue operation to a recovery operation, ' he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

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The rescued child was taken to Tweed Heads District Hospital with cuts and lacerations to her lower legs as well as neck pain.

She has since been taken to Tweed Heads Hospital where she is now with family.

Former police officer Matthew Grinham told of a frantic rescue effort on Monday afternoon, joining several others who dived into the freezing water of the Tweed and unsuccessfully tried to reach the auto.

"We all have accidents", he said.

"[She's] a very fearless little girl". "She said "our vehicle just went into the river".

"She was really upset. She loved the kids, that was their life pretty much", he said.

Emergency services were called to the scene around 1:40pm after a young child, who is believed to have been travelling in the auto, managed to escape and raise the alarm with local residents. "Dad and two other boys just jumped into the water and couldn't dive deep enough", Sophie said.

Crews are using boats with sonar equipment to find the missing vehicle, police said.

Friend Alicia Morgan told The Gold Coast Bulletin Mrs King was a kind, community-minded person, always willing to help out.

Evacuation orders were issued for the town by state emergency services on Thursday. "It would be the same over there".

"This is also a very sad time for all employees at Opal and in particular at our Tweed Heads home where she worked".

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