Fresno County Authorities Set to Recover Bodies of Thai Students 5 Weeks After Car Crashed Into River

Fresno County authorities on Friday will try to recover the bodies of two missing Thai exchange students who are thought to be trapped in a car that plummeted hundreds of feet into the raging Kings River just over five weeks ago.

Police in Fresno have been working for two weeks to try and retrieve the vehicle, which is stuck in the middle of a fast-moving part of Kings River. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's Office)

Police in Fresno have been working for two weeks to try and retrieve the vehicle, which is stuck in the middle of a fast-moving part of Kings River. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

The bodies are believed to be in a mangled automobile that plummeted from twisting Highway 180 down a hillside onto a rock in the middle of the Kings River, which has been swollen with snowmelt. The red automobile was first spotted in the river on July 26.

Recovery personnel were to take positions in the river beginning at 6 a.m. and likely would start to maneuver the car around 9 a.m., according to Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti.

The car is trapped in the middle of a rapid that lies between two canyon faces more than 500 feet high, with a 75-foot drop about 100 feet downriver, Botti said. Those conditions make a recovery dangerous, he said.

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