Mom, infant die when stream sweeps away car

Mom, infant die when stream sweeps away car
Albany, Ore., Firefighters search Periwinkle Creek after a car with a father and two children was swept into the swollen creek from a parking lot in Albany Ore. Wednesday Jan. 18, 2012. One child and the father were recovered within an hour of the car going in the creek, their conditions are unknown. (AP Photo/Albany Democrat-Herald, Mark Ylen)

ALBANY, Ore. - The body of a woman missing since last night has been found.

The woman and her infant son died after the car they were riding in got swept into a creek by flood waters in a grocery store parking lot Wednesday night.

Crews searched the banks of Periwinkle Creek for any sign of 18-year-old Catherine McLaughlin. Searchers found the body of her 20-month-old son Aiden at 1 a.m. Thursday.

The two were passengers in a car driven by Christopher Wilgus, 24, of Albany. The car got swept into the creek around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Rescuers got to Wilgus and his 5-year-old son Maliki Wednesday night after they were carried downstream by the flood waters.

On Thursday morning members of the Linn County Sheriff Search and Rescue team searched the banks of Periwinkle Creek for Catherine McLaughlin. Her body was found Thursday.

The conditions of Periwinkle Creek will continue to be monitored and when it is safe to do so, water rescue personnel from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Albany Fire Department will be deployed to locate and recover the car.

Earlier report

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An overflowing creek swept a car out of a grocery store parking lot, and a child died as rain soaked western Oregon and pushed streams out of their banks.

An adult remained missing Thursday morning, said Albany fire department spokeswoman Wanda Omdahl.

Another child and an adult were taken to the hospital after Periwinkle Creek flooded in Wednesday's heavy rain and swept the car from the lot at Mega Foods about 7 p.m.

"We had a ton of rain," Omdahl said. "I haven't seen that creek like that since '96."

The child who escaped was taken to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland.

Omdahl said she didn't know the age or gender of either child.

Rains continued Thursday morning, pushing water over roadways. Some were closed.

In Lane County, emergency officials issued an evacuation notice to Mapleton, a town of about 900 people along the Siuslaw River, as well as to residents of the Mohawk Valley.

The sheriff's office in Coos County was evacuating residents along a road 13 miles east of Coos Bay.

In South Salem, authorities evacuated a school bus after it hit high water. No injuries were reported.



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.