Authorities pulled a submerged pickup truck out of a cove used by rowers at Melton Lake Park on Tuesday morning, one of a half-dozen or so vehicles recently found in the Clinch River.
The pickup truck appeared to be a dark-colored mid-1980s Ford Ranger. It was coated in what appeared to be brown slime.
It wasn’t immediately clear what, if anything, was found inside.
Authorities have said little about the vehicles or the search for them, including how long the automobiles have been in the water, how they got there, or why officers are searching the Clinch River.
“We’ve got a pending investigation taking place, and we’re just not making any comment,” Oak Ridge Police Capt. Mike Uher said.
Steve Abner and Mark Bolton, members of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department dive team, searched the water near a boat ramp at Melton Lake Park on Tuesday morning. The boat ramp is at the intersection of Melton Lake Drive and Emory Valley Road. It’s in a cove heavily used by rowers, particularly during regattas.
Crime scene tape was quickly strung up after the divers announced they had found something, and the public was kept at a distance as two tow trucks were called in to pull the truck from the water. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency also responded, and a Knoxville Police Department investigator was at the scene.
The pickup, possibly a few dozen feet from shore, was pulled from the river in less than an hour. The driver’s side window appeared obstructed. The radiator appeared to be missing, and the hood smashed and bent into a upward-pointing V shape.
After investigators examined the pickup and its contents, it was hauled away on a flatbed truck.
A week ago, on Monday, Aug. 13, a bus was pulled out of the river at Solway Park off Edgemoor Road near Pellissippi Parkway. Oak Ridge Police Chief James T. Akagi said nobody was on the bus.
Uher declined to describe any other vehicles pulled from the water, and he would not say when the search started or where else officers might look, adding only that “several areas” are involved.