One witness heard screams and saw a truck plunge into the Missouri River at a park near Council Bluffs Monday afternoon.
Early Tuesday morning, rescue crews raised the pickup with three bodies in it and are searching for a fourth in what appears to be a deliberate and desperate act of a woman who took three young boys to their deaths.
The victims' names and relationship to one another have not been released.
A hushed crowd stood helplessly at the shoreline while the victims were pulled from their watery grave at 2:00 a.m., reports Chris Egert of CBS affiliate KMTV in Omaha.
No one knows for sure what happened. "Other than the kids screaming," said Mike Wise, the witness, "the other thing I heard was the accelerator still going as it flew into the water."
Wise also said the truck "sank rather quickly and there was no floating about it. It just went straight in."
The nine-hour search started at about 5 p.m. and was hampered by a strong current and poor visibility.
A 70-foot Coast Guard cutter assisted in the search.
Witnesses said the truck, traveling at a high rate of speed down a road that led to the river, jumped off a 25-foot river bank at Narrows County Park, directly across the river from Omaha's Eppley Airfield. Fishermen along the bank said the truck sank quickly in the swift-flowing river.
Witnesses said it did not appear that the adult driver made any effort to stop.
One witness says he saw the truck sitting in a nearby parking lot about five to ten minutes before it went into the water. He says a man and woman were inside the truck and appeared to be arguing.
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