Children's bodies recovered from submerged car, mother arrested

Workers pull the vehicle from the river (Source:
Workers pull the vehicle from the river (Source:

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Two children's bodies have been recovered from a submerged vehicle in the Edisto River and their mother has been arrested.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol was called to the Shillings Bridge boat ramp for a report of a vehicle in the water around 6 a.m. Monday. Once on the scene, troopers, believing it was more than an accident, called the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department.

Orangeburg County dive team members discovered the bodies of a 1-year-old and 2-year old boy inside the Green Dodge Intrepid at 6:40 a.m.  The toddler's bodies were still strapped in their child restraint seats when they were recovered.

According to Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams, the boys' 29-year-old mother walked almost a mile before calling for help. Williams said she described the incident as an "accident."

Authorities said the mother has one other child and is from Orangeburg County.  Her name has not been released. She is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. Williams said there's a possibility this was not an accident.

Investigators will interview the boys' mother Monday afternoon.

Officials say the car entered the river at the boat landing. A witness told WIS she overheard investigators saying the ignition was left on when they opened the car door in the water.

Orangeburg sheriff's deputies had Shillings Bridge Rd. closed down for most of the morning while trying to retrieve the vehicle from the river.

The names of the children have not been released.

An autopsy will be conducted on the bodies to determine exact cause of death.

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