Car Recovered From Alameda Creek; Tracy Woman Still Missing

FREMONT (CBS SF) – An overturned car was recovered from the rain-swollen Alameda Creek Tuesday, but the Tracy woman who was inside when it careened into the rushing waters remained missing.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said it was “disappointing” the recovery team was not able to locate the 18-year-old’s body.

“I can’t tell you how disappointed we are right now,” he said. “We were hopeful we could make the recovery today … When we pulled out the car out of the water, she was not in it.”

Kelly said when the car was searched, the driver’s seat belt was unfastened.

“She unfastened the seat belt and tried to get out,” said Kelly, who added the windows of the front, rear, passenger and driver’s side windows were all broken out.

Search crews, helicopters, drones and family members were all being deployed to search the creek all the way to the San Francisco Bay in an effort to locate the woman’s body.

The family identified the missing woman as Jayda Jenkins.

“It’s a been big struggle,” said Danielle Jenkins, Jayda’s mother. “We’re had a lot of people (media) putting things out before we were ready…We are still dealing with it…We don’t have our daughter, sister.”

Danielle said her daughter was the person everyone who was in need turned to.

“She’s amazing,” she said of her daughter. “She’s a wonderful student, a beautiful human being…She loves her family and friends.”

Kelly said a member of the missing 18-year-old’s family spotted an “anomaly” in the fast-rushing water on Monday and alerted authorities.

“The family was instrumental yesterday in locating that anomaly in the water that turned out to be a tire,” Kelly said. “That allowed us to focus our energy on that spot … We were searching an area half a mile or longer where we believed the car could have been … It was literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

It was quickly determined that it was a silver 2000 Honda Accord similar to the vehicle a witness saw floating in the rain-swollen creek moments after a collision between two vehicles.

Kelly said the car had drifted about 100 yards from where it was scene crashing into the creek and was resting upside down on the creek bottom.

Overnight Bay Area water officials shut off run-off into the creek from the Del Valle and Calaveras reservoirs, significantly lowering the water level in the creek.

At the time of the crash, the creek had been swollen by several days of raid that created level 2 or 3 rapids, according to Kelly.

Niles Canyon Road was closed at 10 a.m. so crews could begin recovering the vehicle.

Kelly said there would be a moment of silence by the authorities, first responders and the family members before the recovering effort was to begin.

The missing teen was a student at William Jessup University in Rocklin and the school released a statement Tuesday.

“The news of a tragic accident involving one of our students deeply impacts the entire Jessup community. We are praying for a miracle and praying for strength for all of their family and friends during this difficult hour,” said Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University. “We are also praying for the law enforcement and search personnel involved in the recovery efforts as they seek to find the student and vehicle.”

On Saturday at 10:45 a.m., police responded to Niles Canyon Road, east of Palomares Road, where a woman was involved in a collision.

According to police, the woman was driving her silver Honda Accord west when her car collided with another vehicle traveling east. After the impact, the Accord veered off the road and into the creek, police said.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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