Stolen car found in Monongahela River
A stolen car and two other vehicles that divers found in the Monongahela River early on Tuesday will remain there, officials said.
Pittsburgh police on patrol about 3 a.m. spotted the stolen Chevy Malibu sinking into the river near a boat ramp in Riverfront Park in the South Side, said Richard Linn Jr., Pittsburgh EMS district chief and operations chief of River Rescue.
Divers stumbled across two other vehicles while searching for the Malibu, which was reported stolen in Delmont in Westmoreland County, Linn said.
“Since it was reported stolen, my guess is they were ditching the car,” Linn said.
The Malibu was unoccupied when divers found it and police did not see anyone around the car. Linn said the other vehicles probably have been in the water for years.
The vehicles do not pose a navigational hazard, so the city will not pay to remove them from the river, Linn said.
Although the divers had an approximate location, it took them several hours to find the Malibu in the murky water.
“It was one-foot visibility,” Linn said. “It was very difficult for the divers to see anything.”
Katherine Gresh, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the risk to the environment caused by chemicals such as gasoline, oil and other fluids in a motor vehicle is minimal.
“While we take every spill and every complaint we get about any potential release of chemicals into the commonwealth’s waterways seriously, there are different degrees of seriousness,” Gresh said. “The amount of material that would come from a car going into a river is diluted to such a degree that it is not a major concern for us.”
Staff writer Tony LaRussa contributed to this report. Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].