Man Survives Car’s Plunge Into River, Taken Into Protective Custody

NEBRASKA CITY – A Nebraska City man survived a plunge with his car into the flooded Missouri River Sunday afternoon, but now has questions to answer from police.

Police say the man was probably accelerating as he entered the dock area on the eastern tip of Central Avenue. Investigators say it appears the car was not braking when it hit a guard rail, breaking off four posts.

John Anthens was visiting the common river viewing spot with his son  when he saw the car coming.

Anthens: “He was coming too fast. He couldn’t stop.”

The car, believed to be a Nissan Sentra, broke through a guardrail and plunged into the water.

Anthens: “I went down to the rocks of the shore. My son and I. I heard pounding on a window. I thought I was going to have to go in after him.”

Anthens said he heard the man call for help as the river, which is still above flood stage and moving rapidly, swirled about and then covered the car.

Athens: “I had decided I was going to have to go in after him, but then I saw bubbles and there he was. He just climbed up the bank and walked away.”

Police Chief David Lacy said the man has been detained and will be taken into protective custody. He said there may be anger issues and mental health issues.

Russ Mort of Nebraska Game and Parks used a boat with sonar to locate the car a few feet downstream.