DIVER SEARCHES FOR VEHICLE

A recovery diver searches for a vehicle that became submerged in a pond in Marthasville Saturday, July 13.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has identified the 7-year-old girl who drowned after a vehicle crashed into a pond in Marthasville Saturday, as well as a family member who was hospitalized.

Safa Alkhirafi, 7, Chesterfield, died after the vehicle she was in became submerged in a pond on Orchard Lane, south of Town Branch Road, according to a highway patrol preliminary report. Reem E. Alkhirafi, 30, Chesterfield, was taken to Mercy Hospital Washington in serious condition, the patrol said.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Reem Alkhirafi was driving a 2004 Kia Spectra southward when her vision was blocked by dust from the gravel road. She missed a turn in the road and her vehicle entered an adjacent pond.

The highway patrol did not specify how many people were in the vehicle when it crashed.

First responders from multiple area agencies were called to conduct a water rescue at the pond. When they arrived the vehicle was completely submerged with an unknown number of occupants still inside, according to a news release.

Several people were able to escape the vehicle before rescue crews arrived, officials said. The vehicle was inaccessible to local crews, and a water recovery team from Metro West Fire Protection District was called to the scene to recover the submerged vehicle. Safa Alkhirafi was pronounced dead at the scene just after 7 p.m.

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