OAK GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) — A 1996 Chevy Lumina. A burned Saturn. A 1980 t-top Corvette. Those are three of the six cars Clackamas County dive teams found in the water near the Oak Grove boat ramp Thursday.
At the request of an insurance company — and to provide some training for the divers — the waters near the boat ramp were explored looking for one car. They found six, some of which had been in the water of the Willamette River a long time.
The Chevy Lumina had been on its top before the dive teams floated it back onto its wheels before towing it out of the shallow water at the end of the Oak Grove boat ramp.
“We were able to identify makes and models of cars and see things,” said Clackamas County deputy Robby Nashif. “There were quite a few fish down there amongst all the other debris and junk that people dump down there, unfortunately.”
In the murky water, with visibility just a few feet, divers found the Lumina and five other abandoned cars. A burned Saturn was brought up, filled with silt. A 1980 Corvette — reported stolen December 29, 2002 — was also discovered.
“It was defintely an older car, had a license plate on it. It wasn’t stolen,” Nashif said. “We tried pulling it up and ended up pulling an entire wheel off of it. That’s the only connecting point we could find.”
KOIN 6 News checked the records, which indicates the Corvette owner likely moved out of the country and left his Corvette where he didn’t want anyone to find it.
People who live close to the ramp said car dumping is an ongoing problem at the ramp.
Jody Tilton and her sister, Jen, watched the dive team work throughout the day. It reminded them living close to the water doesn’t always make life a picnic.
“It’s not our first rodeo, that’s for sure. It’s chaos all the time, chaos,” Tilton said. “It’s kind of nerve wracking actually . Very nerve wracking that our kids are playing down there and there’s all those cars and trash everywhere.”