North Portland

Car plunges into Columbia early Friday morning

Car plunges into Columbia early Friday morning

PORTLAND, Ore – An SUV drove over an embankment into the Columbia River on Friday morning just after 2 a.m.

And that's not even the strange part.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Portland Fire and Rescue spent much of the morning searching the water and riverbank off the 500 block of North Bridgeton Road for a man believed to be involved in the incident.

Contrary to early reports that one man was pulled out of the water early in the investigation and a second was possibly still at large, only one man was recovered from the scene, at about 6:45 a.m. Joshua Peter Tonder, 27, was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Police cited Tonder at the hospital for charges including hit and run and driving with a suspended license. He remained at the hospital being treatet for hypothermia.

Police and rescuers are still trying to unravel exactly what happened. Witnesses said the man was originally located in the SUV by paramedics almost immediately after they arrived on the scene.

While they were trying to rescue him, he escaped from the car and swam away.

He was later found hiding under a nearby floating house.