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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Authorities have identified the three bodies they recovered from a vehicle Sunday morning near New Hope, Ky., after they say the vehicle became trapped in flood water in the Rolling Fork River.
A SUV carrying five passengers tried to cross a low concrete bridge early Sunday morning on Dee Head Road. Fire officials say two of the vehicle's passengers were able to escape through the back, but were unable to save three others.
Field Houghlin, the coroner for Nelson Co., identified the victims as Cindy Newberry, 36, of Gravel Switch, Ky., who was driving the vehicle, according to Houghlin. Passengers Chris Gray, 51, of Campbellsville and Don Paul Allen, 61, of Raywick, drowned in the vehicle authorities said.
"He said he tried to get them out, and he just couldn't get them out," said New Hope Fire Chief Mike Corbett. He said one of the passengers called 9-1-1. "She called it in, said she ran into a bunch of swift water."
Even with the assistance of seven agencies and Taylor County's water rescue team, officials weren't able to recover the three bodies until daylight, when water receded.
The Ford Expedition was found about 250 feet from the bridge.
New Hope fire officials say it's an area known for flooding.
"I mean it's gotten a whole lot worse than this, but we never dreamed we would get that call," said Corbett.
The two passengers who escaped were transported to Flaget Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
Officials are using the tragic incident as a reminder to never try and cross moving water.
"If you ever meet swift water, it's not a joke. Turn around," says Corbett. "Don't try and go over it. This is what happens."
Joe Prewitt, Nelson County Emergency Management Director, said in a statements, "This is such a tragic loss, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's families. This is a stark reminder why we caution people never to drive through, walk through, or allow children to play in flood waters."