EMS vehicle plunges into frigid river
Divers search for New Jersey police officers who drove off bridge
The Lincoln Highway Bridge is used by truckers en route to the Holland Tunnel.
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Divers from state and federal agencies searched Sunday for two police officers whose emergency vehicle drove off a drawbridge and plunged into the Hackensack River in New Jersey outside Jersey City, an official said.
The vehicle was driving eastbound from Kearney toward Jersey City through heavy fog on the Route 1 and 9 Bridge -- also known as the Lincoln Highway Bridge -- at 8:15 p.m., when the accident occurred, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Tom Sperduto.
"The bridge was up; they couldn't see it and they drove right off it," he said.
The temperature of the Hackensack River water was 41 degrees, in which a person can expect to survive "a little over three hours," Sperduto said.
"There's a multitude of agencies out there right now searching," he added, listing the New York Police Department, the New Jersey State Police and the Coast Guard.
The Jersey City Police Department is the lead agency. A dispatcher said no one was available to comment.
The director of the New Jersey chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association said the structure was built shortly after World War II and is a vertical-lift bridge about 300 feet long that works like an elevator suspended between two columns.
"There's a structure that goes up and down," said Mitchel Dakelman. "The lift span is mounted between two towers."
When the bridge is in the raised position, drivers are warned that the pavement is ending by flashing lights and barricades, he said.
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