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Police and fire

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Chad Ryan/The Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne Fire Department rescue divers pull a victim out of the Maumee River near the Tecumseh Street bridge on Thursday after a pickup went through the guardrail and plunged into the river.

Pickup pulled from Maumee; 2 dead

FORT WAYNE – The bodies of a man and a woman were removed this morning from a pickup truck found this morning in the Maumee River, police said.

Passersby called 911 about 7:25 a.m. to report new damage to the south end of the Tecumseh Street bridge, Fort Wayne police Sgt. Scott Caudill said.

Caudill said the railing was damaged, but no one saw the crash.

Fire personnel determined there was a vehicle in the river and there were victims inside, said Michael Joyner, a spokesman for the department.

The victims are believed to be a local man and woman, Caudill said.

The identities and cause of death for the victims will be released by the Allen County Coroner's Office. The cause and time of the crash is under investigation by city police.

The Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, the Department of Natural Resources, the city street department and Parker Wrecker Service also assisted at the scene.

The crash was the second fatal one at the bridge this year. In July, Irvin J. Gates, 23, of Fort Wayne, died after losing control of a vehicle on the bridge and plunging into the river.

Gates' death was ruled an accidental drowning, the coroner's office said.

The bridge, which connects the East Central and Lakeside neighborhoods, was built in 1913. In recent years, it underwent a renovation that cost more than $3 million.

Police statement, verbatim | 10:26 a.m.

November 7, 2013

Fatal Vehicle Accident

Date: Thursday, November 07, 2013

Time: 7:25 a.m.

Location: Tecumseh Street Bridge

Victims: Adult Male and Adult Female

Details: The Fort Wayne Police Department along with Fort Wayne Fire Department personnel responded to the Tecumseh Street Bridge at approximately 6:25 a.m. this morning on the 911 call reporting fresh damage to the bridge and the possibility a vehicle was in the river.

Once on scene it became apparent to police and fire personnel that there was a vehicle in the river which initiated a water rescue. As a result two bodies were recovered from a pickup truck that was submerged in the river. The two victims recovered were adult's one male and the other a female both pronounced dead at the scene. Their identities will be released by the Allen County Coroners office when appropriate.

Parkers Towing Service was summoned to the scene where they used their heavy duty rig to host the Dodge pickup from the river. There is no additional information available at this time concerning this crash scene. The Tecumseh Street Bridge was closed to all traffic during the recovery.

This incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Coroners office, the Allen County Prosecutors office, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Michael Joyner

Public Information Officer

Fort Wayne Police Department