UPDATE: Authorities believe tracks, damage connected to missing garbage truck
A search of the James River for a missing garbage truck was suspended Saturday afternoon after several hours of work.
Law enforcement agencies were on scene where the James River crosses under Highway 37 north of Mitchell in Sanborn County. Three boats with sonar searched the James River, where officials believe a garbage truck with two people inside went off the highway and into the river.
The truck, which is from Howard, has been missing for more than two days, and no one has heard from the two occupants of the vehicle during that time, according to Sanborn County Sheriff Tom Fridley.
Fridley said a person on Thursday afternoon called to report damage on a guard rail and its cabling. There were also a vehicle’s tire tracks leading from the road into the river.
“We believe that the truck that went missing and the tracks by the river are connected,” Fridley said Saturday evening. “But we haven’t been able to find a truck, so we can’t confirm that.”
A South Dakota Highway Patrol airplane assisted in the search. Authorities have also alerted nearby residents of the situation to watch for the truck. Fridley said due to significant flooding, it may take until the James River drops for the truck to be found.
South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers, Miner County Sheriff’s Office and Sanborn County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search.
Fridley said the search will resume Sunday. He declined to give ages of the missing people but said they are from the Miner County area.