Vehicle with multiple occupants drives off Glenn Highway and into Matanuska River, troopers say

A vehicle with multiple occupants drove off the Glenn Highway south of Wasilla and into the swift waters of the Matanuska River on Friday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The fate of the three people believed to be in the vehicle remains unclear. Search and recovery efforts were unsuccessful Friday evening and resumed Saturday afternoon, prompting the closure of a southbound lane on the Glenn near the Matanuska and Knik River bridges, according to troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain.

Troopers, Mat-Su Central Fire/EMS and Mat-Su Dive and Rescue responded around 4:39 p.m. Friday to a report of a vehicle that had left the southbound lanes of the Glenn at the bridge over the Matanuska River and ended up in the water, troopers said in an online report.

“Numerous witnesses reported the vehicle, believed to be a Toyota Tacoma, and was believed to be occupied by three individuals when it went underwater,” troopers said. An investigation at the scene indicated that the vehicle left the highway and continued down an embankment into the river, missing the bridge’s cement, cable and steel barriers, according to troopers.

“Mat-Su Dive and Rescue attempted numerous methods of recovery but have been unable to safely reach the vehicle,” troopers wrote. “The river is moving (too) swiftly with no visibility for a diver to be safely placed into the water.”

Responders used a drone to search the area and found no bodies on the banks of the river in the immediate vicinity, troopers said, and recovery efforts were suspended around 8:30 p.m. Friday before resuming Saturday.

Officials are working to identify the occupants of the vehicle.

The incident temporarily closed the highway in both directions Friday night.