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Three People Killed When Car Slides Off Road Into Elkhart River

A father and his tow daughters were killed when their car slid off a county road and into the Elkhart River Monday morning.

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. -- A father and his two teenage daughters were killed when a car slid off a Noble County roadway and into the Elkhart River just east of Ligonier.

Police and medics were called just before 10 a.m. Monday to the waters of the Elkhart River near the bend at C.R. 700 West and Ball Road on a report that a vehicle had gone into the river there. Crews arrived to find a white Toyota car upside down and fully submerged in the river.

According to a report from the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, 50-year-old JJ Reyes of Ligonier was headed southbound on 700 West with his daughters - 15-year-old Zulia Reyes and 13-year-old Valeria Reyes - inside. As the vehicle entered the curve at Ball Road, Reyes lost control on the snow-covered roadway and the Toyota slid off the south side of the roadway into the ditch and then into the Elkhart River.

Tire tracks leading to the Elkhart River where a car slid off C.R. 700 West in Ligonier on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, are shown.

There is not a guardrail in the area.

The vehicle was carried some 180 ft downstream before it flipped over and submerged, the sheriff's department said. 

Ligonier Fire Department personnel was able to get to the vehicle and attach a tow cable. Once the vehicle was pulled from the river, the victims were found inside. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Zulia Reyes was a sophomore student at West Noble High School and Valeria Reyes was an 8th grade student at West Noble Middle School, the sheriff's department said. West Noble High School tweeted that grief counselors would be made available for students.

(PHOTO: WISH/WANE)

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