Mustang Convertible Drowns After Rolling Into Illinois River

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2014 Mustang in the water

Painful to watch, but it is a stark reminder to make sure your Mustang is in park with the e-brake engaged.

Imagine driving your Ford Mustang convertible to a local waterfront to go for a peaceful walk, only to return to the parking lot to find that your beloved pony car has rolled into deep water. That is exactly what happened to the owner of the Grabber Blue 2014 convertible shown above. As is the greatest fear of many Mustang owners, the car is a complete loss.

Fateful Walk

According to, an unnamed man drove his 2014 Ford Mustang convertible to the Grafton Boat Ramp in Illinois early on the morning of Tuesday, July 31 to take a walk along the waterfront. He thought that he had put the car in park, but when he returned, the car had rolled down the boat ramp, into the river at a point where the water was deep enough to engulf the car.

Mustang in Water

The Grafton police department arrived around 9am and began the recovery effort, spending several hours fishing the Mustang up out of the river. The car was pulled from the water after a diver wrapped a chain around the rear wheels, with a tow truck using a winch to get the car back onto dry land.

Ford Mustang Damaged

Irreparable Damage

As you can see in the images here, there was a considerable amount of damage done to the front end of the car, including the loss of the driver’s side front wheel. It probably didn’t do the rear wheels much good when they were used to lift the car out of the water and the odds are good that every electrical system in the car was destroyed by the river water.

According to Richard Gillespie of the Grafton Police Department, the owner of the Mustang was visibly upset at the sight of his damaged car. The initial report states that the owner loved the car and he was often seen washing and waxing the bright blue pony car.

This should serve as a stern reminder to everyone to always make sure that your car is in “park” and while many people do not, the emergency brake should always be engaged when a vehicle is parked. Even if you are not parked near water or anywhere else where your car may roll away, there is simple no reason not to use the emergency brake every time you park your car.

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Longtime auto journalist Patrick Rall contributes to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Rennlist, Club Lexus, F-150 Online, and YotaTech.

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