FORT HOOD — The search continued late Thursday for a driver who was swept into Clear Creek from Turkey Run Road during a storm, and post officials said the missing person is a man who was driving a red Ford Focus.
The search teams are averaging about six miles a day along the creek bed, which empties into House Creek and Cowhouse Creek, a tributary of Belton Lake, said Chris Zimmer, Fort Hood’s deputy director of emergency services, during Thursday’s briefing.
Fort Hood allowed outside media to the area Thursday for the first time since the Tuesday incident.
More than 80 emergency personnel including swift-water rescue teams, and air assets including two AH-64 Apache helicopters from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were a part of the search, which stops during overnight hours.
Texas Task Force One, one of 28 federal teams under FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue System, and soldiers from the 89th Military Police Brigade are also part of the search efforts.
“We received two emergency 9-1-1 calls on Tuesday morning a little after 5 a.m.,” Zimmer said. “A witness observed the vehicle being swept into the creek, and the second call was from the (male) individual who was in the vehicle. Emergency responders were dispatched immediately.”
The vehicle, a red Ford Focus, was found late Tuesday night, Zimmer said. Officials have been able to determine who the owner of the vehicle is, but are still unable to determine whether the person swept away was the owner or someone else.
Zimmer said no names will be released until the missing person is found for the sake of the families involved.
High waters and difficult terrain have limited ground search crews’ ability to conduct an in-depth search, with mud and debris hindering the effort, he said. As the water levels continue to drop from the more than 15 feet reached during the storm, searchers move back to the starting point where the vehicle was first swept away to ensure nothing is missed.
“We continue to search in that method, choosing the most efficient use of assets we have available,” Zimmer said. “We will continue to search until we get resolution for the individual.”
In June 2016, a military vehicle overturned at a low-water crossing at Owl Creek, killing eight soldiers and one cadet from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.