KENOSHA -- Officials are investigating after a stolen vehicle ended up in a retention pond near 75th and Green Bay Road in Kenosha. The incident was reported around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, August 11th by a semi driver.
"We immediately began an operation around the vehicle with surface rescue," Matthew Haerter, battalion chief with the Kenosha Fire Department said.
Officials say the tan SUV was reported stolen from a resident of Pleasant Prairie on Wednesday night, August 10th. A wrecker pulled it out of the retention pond as divers got suited up Thursday morning.
"I have never seen anything like this before," Stephanie Brecheisen said.
Officials with the Kenosha Fire Department did not find anyone in the vehicle. The Kenosha Dive Team searched the pond to ensure it was clear. No one was found.
Brecheisen works the overnight shift at the Meijer store in Kenosha.
"I was more curious about what was going on and if anyone was hurt," Brecheisen said.
Hazmat crews worked to contain the fuel that spilled from the vehicle. The DNR responded to the scene because of the potential environmental impact.
"We have our water utility here making sure none of that spills into the rest of the environment and the Department of Natural Resources is also involved," Haerter said.
Each time the divers came out of the water, they were completely hosed down. Fire officials said that was due to the large amount of gasoline in the water that leaked from the vehicle as well as possibly some oil.
"It looks as if the vehicle had, not only a large amount of fuel in the tank, but probably had some spare gas tanks within it. Unfortunately that leaked out into the water," Haerter said.
As Brecheisen watched, she said she hoped police would catch the person or persons responsible for stealing the SUV.
"I hope whoever`s car it is -- they get it back," Brecheisen said.
Fire officials hoped to have the pond cleaned up before the rain moved in Thursday to prevent further contamination.
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