Driver feared dead as car plunges off bridge into Toronto harbour, remains submerged in channel overnight

TORONTO — A motorist is feared dead after a car went through a guardrail on the lift bridge and plunged into the Keating on Toronto’s   afternoon.

Witnesses said the vehicle, which remained Thursday night, was being driven by a woman when it crashed into the harbour around 4 p.m.

A who witnessed the dove into the freezing waters in a rescue attempt, but was unable to reach the driver, Toronto Fire platoon chief Kevin Aucoin said. The shipping channel is nearly six metres deep. The cyclist was treated at hospital for hypothermia.

Toronto Police Sgt. Brett Moore told CBC Thursday night that police divers subsequently located the submerged vehicle and the case had become a recovery operation. Police believed someone was inside the car but it was not confirmed.

Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia News<br />
Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia News
Police and fire personnel scour Keating Channel on the Toronto waterfront for a car that plunged off a bridge Thursday Oct. 27, 2016.

Recovery efforts were called off shortly after 6:30 p.m. due to failing light and unsafe . Efforts to recover the submerged vehicle were to resume Friday .

Police continued to investigate the cause of the accident late into the day. Moore told the CBC that investigators believed the driver was heading northbound, away from  Beach toward the city, when she slammed through a guard rail on the west side of the bridge and into the water.

It was not known if weather conditions contributed to the accident. Downtown Toronto and the harbour had been subjected to rain for much of the day. 

Cherry Street was to remain closed and into the morning.

With files from The Canadian Press

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