Underwater vehicles removed from Nowata County quarry

NOWATA COUNTY, Okla. — Divers have recovered three stolen vehicles from a rock quarry in Nowata County.

Five vehicles in total were pulled out on Saturday. They were at the bottom of a pool of water known as ‘The Rock Crusher.’

Chance James found the vehicles while diving in May, 2021.

“I got down there and I came across one car and then another car and another car,” he said.

The Rock Crusher near Old Highway 169, north of Lenapah. Kids swim in it in the summer, so James got together with Patrick Willoughby from OK Dive to clean things up.

“I didn’t want them to jump in and hit a vehicle or something like that, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” James said.

Willoughby said the water on Saturday was cold.

“Between 34 and 37 degrees water temperature but yeah, just imagine getting in your freezer, filling it full of water and then jumping in it and that’s kind of what it was like doing this,” he said.

Vehicles have been discovered in the water before, FOX23 reported on five being found in the water back in 2017, but the latest vehicles are all thought to have been dumped in the last three years.

Nowata County Undersheriff Doug Sonenberg said three of the five vehicles recovered were stolen. One of the cars was stolen from Pennsylvania.

“If we can find out who put these in here they can be charged, I mean with they can be charged with being a stolen vehicle or just dumping into a body of water, I mean it’s just like dumping trash on the side of the road, it’s still illegal,” he said..

While the vehicles have been towed away, an investigation will have to be conducted before they can be legally disposed it.

Willoughby said he hopes no more vehicles will be dumped there.

“Please stop doing it I mean I understand it’s an easy way to dispose of peoples’ illegal activities and stuff but the environment, the water, it’s very important for a lot of people,” he said.

The divers haven’t finished yet as there are still three more vehicles that will be recovered at a later date.