Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Authorities investigate strange case of couple and their submerged car

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Once recovered, the 2006 convertible was inspected by CHP and Kelseyville Fire and safety officials. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


 


KELSEYVILLE – A Lake County Parks and Recreation employee was startled Monday morning when two Mendocino County seniors emerged from a concrete and steel bathroom asking for help in finding their automobile.

 

County employee Jennifer Lyon explained that she was setting sprinklers near the Lakeside County Park baseball field around 7:15 a.m. Monday when two people approached her seeking assistance.


The pair, later identified as Russell and Sandra Troxler of Redwood Valley, had apparently spent the night in the ballfield bathroom, located several hundred yards from the park's boat ramp.

 

The two asked Lyon for a ride to town where they wanted to seek additional help in finding their missing vehicle, Lyon said.


Once downtown local California Highway Patrol and fire safety officials quickly determined that the two were confused and disorientated, said CHP Officer Craig Van Housen.


At about 10 a.m. authorities received a phone call from an individual launching a boat at the park, who saw a car antenna sticking up out of the water and an oxygen bottle floating in the area, according to the CHP Incident Logs. The car was found in what was estimated to be between 6 and 8 feet of water.


Emergency crews from Kelseyville Fire Department and divers from the North Shore Dive and Rescue Team advanced on the scene. It was quickly determined that the vehicle was a convertible with no apparent occupants.

 

Divers and fire and rescue personnel managed to remove the vehicle from the water by 11:15 a.m.

 

Upon closer inspection Van Housen speculated that the 2006 Sebring may have been running and the car appeared to have been in gear when it entered the water.

 

A number of the Troxler's personal belonging were found in the vehicle as well as a trunk full of fishing gear.

 

CHP Officer Adam Garcia said investigators believed the car went into the lake Sunday night or early Monday morning. Garcia said both of the Troxlers were very confused, and made statements about their car going into the “ocean.”


“We're still trying to figure it out,” Garcia said.


E-mail Harold LaBonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Diver Stan Arrington secures recovery cables on the Troxlers' Sebring. Photo by Harold LaBonte.
 

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