Driver escapes vehicle submerged in lake


A resident was able to escape his vehicle and swim to safety after his Toyota RAV4 slid into the lake while he was attempting to load a boat on a trailer at the East Port launch ramp on the afternoon of Jan. 31.

The driver, who asked to remain anonymous, was not able to escape from the vehicle immediately because of the pressure from the water. “Once the car filled up with water and the pressure released, I was able to get out,” said the driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle.

According to the POA, a small amount, approximately one cup or less, of unleaded gasoline residue from a gasoline can that was on the trailer spilled into the lake.

The release was contained and cleaned up by the POA Operations Department with three absorbent booms. No drinking water was impacted. No injuries or chemical exposure occurred.

The Department of Fish and Game, OES, CUPA, City of Canyon Lake and the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District were notified of the incident.

A local tow truck company removed the submerged vehicle from the lake approximately one hour after the incident occurred.