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Story by James Daniels - The Oregon Herald
Published on Monday April 12, 2010 - 11:48 AM
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RIDGEFIELD, Washington - An elderly couple from Ridgefield died after their car crashed into a pond in the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The Clark County Sheriff's Department says rescuers responding to a 911 call from a witness, spotted the car Sunday afternoon partially submerged and upside down in the pond on the south end of Bachelor Island. Authorities today identified the deceased as Chester B. Manning, 81, and Nancy E. Manning, 79, of La Center.

Officials said the car, a black Chevrolet Lumina, ended up in three feet of water, with the couple upside down and wearing their seat belts.

Upon arrival at the scene at about 5 p.m., authorities found the car upside down, submerged in three to four feet of water, Rothenberger said, a sergeant with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. It is unknown how long the car had been under water.

“We don’t know much other than the car ended up in a ditch upside down,” Rothenberger said. “It appears that they might have drowned.”

They pulled the Chester Manning male and his wife Nancy from the car and worked to revive them but were unsuccessful. “It looks like they probably just drifted off the road,” Rothenberger said. He said the bank is steep at that spot.

The bodies were taken to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office.