Search underway for IL woman missing in floodwaters - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Crews deploy remote control vehicle to help search for missing IL woman

Photo Courtesy: WAVY Photo Courtesy: WAVY
Photo Courtesy: WAVY Photo Courtesy: WAVY
PIKE CO., IN (WFIE) -

Indiana Conservation Officers resumed their search Wednesday for a missing Illinois woman in the White River.

Searchers tell 14 News that the water in the fields around the river is going down. So much so, you can now see the truck 31-year-old Cathryn McGill and her husband, 35-year-old Adam, were in, when Cathryn was swept away.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, along with local volunteer fire departments, say the receding water is giving them hope that they will find her soon. It also allows them to search a smaller area.

On Tuesday, officers began to use a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) to assist in their efforts.  They say although current river conditions are not optimal, the ROV, a tethered submersible unit housing a camera and sonar, may aid in the search.

Adam McGill and Cathryn, were traveling on Highway 257 near the Pike County/Daviess County line on Sunday, when their pickup truck was swept away by floodwaters.

Conservation officers say hunters saw the truck and drove their boat to the area the vehicle was last seen. 

Adam and Cathryn got out of the vehicle and were hanging onto nearby tree branches.  

Crews were able to rescue Adam, but Cathryn could not hold on long enough to be pulled from the water.

Adam was released from the hospital on Monday after being treated for hypothermia.

Also on Monday, conservation officers located what they believe to be the McGill's pickup in the water about 75 yards away from the roadway.

Conservation officer Jet Quillen tells us they are holding on to hope of finding Cathryn alive, but says right now, it's not looking good.

In the wake of this search, many people are asking why road-blocking gates haven not been installed on the 257 crossing to prevent this from happening.

Seemingly, installing gates that prevent cars from crossing flood waters on the stretch is an easy decision, but according to INDOT, there are rules and regulations in place that prevent that from happening.

Cher Elliott, with INDOT, says permanent barricades can only be installed for permanent closures. Since high water is temporary, standard signs and barricades are all that can be placed here. 

The problem is drivers can easily drive around signs and barricades, but Elliott says local police have the ability to enforce the law.

"There's been a lot of accidents over there. A lot of people trying to cross the road there when it's flooded. I guess they don't realize that the current is pretty powerful," Otwell resident Jake Robinette said. "I guess what they need to do is put some gates up or something. Make it a little safer if someone makes a bad decision there and decides to try to cross it."

Pike County EMA Director Tonda Dixon says she will be in contact with INDOT very soon to see if there's anything that can be done to relax some of these rules and regulations and allow the flood gates to be installed.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.
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