Crabbers find something unusual

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - It's a popular place for boaters and crabbers, but it was what a couple of crabbers found in the Savannah River that's got people talking.

They found a car submerged in the river. The owner of the car was nowhere to be found. "It made me sick to my stomach to think that somebody was in that car," said George Turnbow.

Turnbow and his father found the car around 6:30am at Houlihan's boat ramp in Port Wentworth. At first, Turnbow didn't know what he had stumbled upon. He and his father had gone out there to go crabbing, when they realized something wasn't right.

"My dad had found a wallet laying there. He went ahead and put the wallet up, but I backed the boat in the water and hit something, so I got to looking and all I could see was a license plate, so I got to feeling around with the crab stick and noticed the car," said Turbo.

Immediately he called 911. A short time later the boat ramp was roped off. Detectives with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department arrived, along with their Marine Patrol, and officers with the Department of Natural Resources. They skimmed the water, but no sign of the driver, 35-year-old Mitchell Lane.

Police tried to locate Lane, but he wasn't home. He also hadn't shown up for his first day of work with Southside Fire Department.

Lane's family arrived at the dock, obviously concerned. Then police got a call, Lane was down the street off of Godley Road. He had gone to a business looking for a family member to come and help him. Lane was alive with only minor scrapes and bruises. "I'm glad they found the guy alive," said Turnbow.

Turnbow says he never would have thought Lane would be alive, and this is definitely a day he will never forget. "We work six days a week, you don't just run across that every day," said Turnbow.

There are no charges against Lane at this time.

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