UPDATE (11:03 A.M.) – The driver of the stolen ambulance has been identified as Elizabeth Reed of Hinton, WV, according to Charleston police.
UPDATE (10:57 A.M.) – Crews have successfully pulled the ambulance out of the Kanawha River.
UPDATE (10:07 A.M.) – Divers recovered a body from the sunken ambulance just after 10 a.m., according to witnesses.
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – An ambulance was stolen from outside of Charleston’s CAMC General Hospital early Thursday morning and driven into the Kanawha River.
According to the Charleston Police Department, the ambulance was stolen from just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Charleston police on the scene tell 13 News there was an altercation between law enforcement and the suspect at the hospital prior to the ambulance being stolen.
The suspect fled east towards the State Capitol, then sped down Greenbrier Street to the south while taking out street signs along the way. The ambulance made a turn onto Kanawha Boulevard before apparently driving over the concrete barrier and into the river near the stoplight at Chesapeake Avenue.
Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department confirmed to 13 News that it was their vehicle stolen, which is a truck chassis style ambulance. Dive teams from the Charleston Fire Department are on the scene to recover a possible body and eventually the ambulance.
The suspect was believed to be inside when the ambulance went into the river.
Charleston Police suspended the search and recovery efforts around 5 a.m. Thursday morning due to poor diving conditions and insufficient manpower. Efforts are set to resume around Noon Thursday.