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Woman’s body recovered Friday morning after vehicle swept up in floodwaters


A woman's body has been recovered after she was presumed dead when her vehicle was swept up by floodwaters from Perche Creek in Boone County on Wednesday.

In a social media post, the Boone County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Iveta Thayer, 81, of Columbia.

Sgt. James Perkins with Boone County Sheriff's Office said as of 9:15 a.m. on Friday the water level had receded enough for crews to attempt a rescue effort.

Scott Mullins, a Columbia resident who lives right up the street from the scene, tells ABC 17 he could see the car starting to emerge from the water before it was recovered this morning.

"You could just see the top of the vehicle in the water there. Just the top of the windows were sticking out of the water," said Mullins.

Perkins said Thayer's car was recovered around 10:30 a.m. with help from the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Thayer was found inside the vehicle, according to Perkins.

Mullins says that he witnessed a dog on scene with Boone County officials and that the dog began barking once the car was pulled from the water.

"When they pulled the vehicle out of the water, the dog went nuts. He was like barking and one of the neighbors mentioned that it must have been a cadaver dog," Mullins said, "so that that's when we kind of realized that maybe they had recovered the the the poor woman that passed away."

ABC 17 News saw a Ford Fusion being towed away a little before 11 a.m. on Friday.

Iveta Thayer and her husband, David Thayer, were originally trapped after driving through floodwaters on Wednesday, according to Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Gale Blomenkamp.

Blomenkamp said two people were rescued from the floodwaters, including a landscaping worker who tried to save the couple.

An MU Health Care spokesperson tells ABC 17 David Thayer is in fair condition.

Mullins says Gillespie Bridge has became increasingly more dangerous throughout the years.

"It's definitely a lot more dangerous. In recent years, something... the dynamics of the creek have changed," Mullins said, "before it would always just be calm water. And now when it floods, it's gushing water and it's scary."

He adds that the addition of an early warning system to the road could help to avoid dangerous situations like this in the future, but if the road continues to get busier a bigger change may need to happen.

"I live right there and I don't really don't want this road to get that busy, but if it ever does get that busy, the only solution I see is is building a bridge all the way from where the bridge is now to Coats Lane, a half a mile long bridge," Mullins said.

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Madison Stuerman

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Olivia Hayes

Olivia is a summer intern at ABC 17 News.


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