A crew from Wiltse’s Towing works to pull a 2012 Honda Civic from the Willamette River. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

A crew from Wiltse’s Towing spent a good chunk of its afternoon fishing a 2012 Honda Civic out of the water near the boat ramp in Keizer Rapids Park Wednesday, Dec. 28.

There’s a decent chance the car would have gone unnoticed for some time had it not been reported to the Keizer Police Department a day after it went into the drink.

On Thursday, Dec. 22, 19-year-old Ernesto Gomez Gonzalez, of Tigard, reported that he’d accidentally driven the car into the Willamette River the previous night about 11 p.m.

“He told the officer that he was with a girl and he accidentally drove the car into the river while he was trying to find the exit to the park,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns, of the Keizer Police Department.

Gonzalez said he and his passenger escaped through a window and a friend came to the park to pick them up.

The vehicle belonged to Gonzalez’s parents and it took him until the next day to fess up to what had happened, Kuhns said.

By the time towing crews arrived a week later, the roof of the car was barely visible under the surface of the water.

The car slipped back into the water twice before it was finally pulled from the river.