Posted on April 7, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl
MYRTLE GROVE, La. - With boats, sonar, and cadaver dogs, teams searching for Victor Navarro, 32, spent a second day combing the Myrtle Grove Canal Saturday.
“The biggest challenge right now is we just don't know if he's still alive or if he's still in the water,” said Cmdr. Eric Becnel, public information officer for the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Becnel theorized Navarro could have swam to a bank of the canal and passed out, or made it to a roadway and been picked up by a passing motorist.
Authorities say Navarro drove into the canal after leaving a nearby bar Thursday night. They believe he was intoxicated, and got lost in the area.
A patron of the bar who said he saw Navarro leave Thursday night said the Hammond native was driving erratically and had been drinking heavily.
“Drunk driving sometimes people can make poor choices and those can have some very negative effects,” said Becnel.
Navarro called a friend around 10:30 Thursday night after he crashed into the canal, saying his truck was filling up with water and he couldn't escape, Becnel said.
Officials pulled Navarro's White Dodge Ram from the canal Friday morning. They believe damage to the windshield indicates Navarro may have hit his head and wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
As the search continues, a volunteer team is hoping its dogs will help.
“You never want to see something like this happen, but if you're able to give a family some closure, that's the ultimate goal,” said David Gravseth, deputy commander of Help! Search and Rescue Dog Team.
Family and friends said Navarro is a good swimmer, but were too distraught to speak on camera.
The Hammond native has been living in Plaquemines Parish for several months for work. He has a wife and two young children.
“We're doing everything in our power to help the family with finding Mr. Navarro,” said Becnel.
Local, state and federal officials said they'll continue searching for Navarro until he is found.
Authorities say Navarro has a medical condition and would need immediate attention if he is injured.
If you have any information on Navarro’s whereabouts, call the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's office at (504) 564-2525.
State Police are investigating the crash. If you have any information, call (504) 471-2775.