DES MOINES, Iowa — Three people were hospitalized after their vehicle crashed over the side of a bridge near downtown Des Moines, stopping within feet of the Raccoon River on Tuesday.
An SUV driving westbound along W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway lost control on the George Washington Carver Bridge near Fleur Drive just before 5 p.m. Witnesses said the vehicle rode the guardrail until it plummeted over the side of the bridge and came to a rest just short of the Raccoon River below.
First responders rescued three people from the crash. An unconscious female occupant had to be extricated from the vehicle. All three occupants are expected to survive their injuries, police said. Authorities said the unconscious occupant’s survival may have been determined by just a few feet.
“The vehicle stopped just short of the river, and that’s a fortunate thing,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. “I think we would have had at least one fatality for sure because one of the passengers was completely unconscious and the fire department had to cut her out of the car.”
W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway westbound at the river bridge is expected to be closed until at least 8:30 p.m. while authorities investigate the crash.