Johnetta Powell-Stewart, 35, and Conjewel Glover, 38, both drowned when the vehicle they were in left the roadway and crashed into the Green River Friday morning, the King County Medical Examiner’s office concluded.
The medical examiner’s office has ruled the incident an accident.
The incident happened around 1:42 a.m., when Tukwila Police received a call about the accident and responded about six minutes later. The vehicle was discovered in the water near the 6800 block of South 180th Street in Tukwila. Apparently, a witness saw a female drive into the river, according to police.
“It sounds like the vehicle left the roadway, went onto the bike path and went into the river,” said Deputy Fire Chief Erik Wallgren, with Renton Fire and Emergency Services.
Renton as well as Kent Fire, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Medic 7 and other crews assisted Tukwila Police with first a rescue then what became a recovery operation. A Zone III Dive response was requested because of the nature of the accident.
According to Wallgren, it was not known that the vehicle had two occupants until it was pulled from the river. After time and conditions determined that the mission would be a recovery effort, a camera was placed into the water to assist divers with how the vehicle would be removed. The camera detected the presence of at least one body in the car an hour after the initial report of the incident.
Tukwila Police are still investigating the incident.
Because special dive crews were requested, a number of regional emergency responders and police were on the scene. In all, there were six fire engines, an aid unit, one ladder truck, and two battalion chiefs. Total there were 27 emergency responders at the scene of the accident, according to the Renton Fire and Emergency Services’ Facebook page.Seven of the responders are swift water technicians, four of them with diver certification.