TROUP — Vehicles found by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department on Dec. 12 submerged in water at an abandoned clay pit were retrieved by a Texas Department of Public Safety dive team based out of Austin Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

According to Sheriff James Campbell, Deputy Andrew Strom first discovered a pick up truck in the water during a routine patrol just before noon on Dec. 12 at the pit, near the Concord area, which is parallel to CR 4706.

With the help of an underwater camera, the department was able to retrieve the license plate number of the truck, Campbell said, and the department, from Strom’s initial discovery, knows of other vehicles in the water, including a Cadillac and a four-wheeler.

“The DPS Auto Theft Task Force will trace the (other) vehicles. We weren’t able to get license plates off of the other vehicles,” Campbell said.

An ETMC unit, the Troup Volunteer Fire Department and officials from State Farm Life Insurance arrived on the scene.

Campbell added that the truck was stolen from Irving in July 2001, and the discovery had prompted an investigation by the department.

Campbell said the department was waiting to send the dive team to retrieve the vehicles after the area got rainfall because the water’s acid levels were high enough to irritate divers’ eyes. Monday night’s storm was enough to allow the dive team to enter the pit, which covers 3-4 acres and is approximately 30 feet deep.

Campbell said this was not the first time vehicles had been discovered in the pit by the department. He also said the pit makes a good location to discard vehicles because of its steep drop offs.

Several computers also were found yesterday afternoon while the dive team was in the process of retrieving the vehicles, Campbell said.

Recommended for you