BELLEVUE, Wash. - Three young women escaped a sinking SUV after a direction from a rental car GPS unit sent them down a boat launch and into the Mercer Slough near Bellevue early Wednesday.
The driver apparently thought she was on a road while following her GPS unit just after midnight - but she was actually heading down the Sweyolocken boat launch.
"We've seen sitcom parodies of something like this and to actually see it is surprising," said Lt. Eric Keenan with the Bellevue Fire Department.
The road was dark and the driver crashed the SUV into the water in Mercer Slough Nature Park.
"I don't know why they wouldn't question driving into a puddle that doesn't seem to end," Keenan said.
He says one of the women immediately jumped to safety.
"We understand the other two women tried to stay with the SUV as long as they could by standing on these side door frames, but they finally had to wade to safety when the vehicle kept drifting out farther into the slough," Keenan said.
All three women made out safely, but the SUV was completely under water.
Officials said the three were in town for a Costco conference in Issaquah and trying to get to a hotel in Bellevue.
"They were trying to re-route their path and found this boat launch near the entrance to I-90 in South Bellevue and just kept driving into the water," Keenan said.
A tow truck driver was at the scene before 5 a.m., but couldn't even see the SUV. However, they were able to eventually find the vehicle and tow it out of the water later Wednesday morning.
Police don't suspect drugs or alcohol were involved -- just a case of a lost driver and a GPS system that didn't quite live up to standards.