Recovery teams Tuesday were unable to locate a woman thought to have died when her car ran off Niles Canyon Road and ended up submerged in Alameda Creek east of Fremont on Saturday.
Officials with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Fremont Fire Department had hoped to find 18-year-old Tracy resident Jayda Jenkins still in her car.
Once crews pulled the car from the creek, however, they were unable to locate Jenkins’ body, according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly:
“I can’t tell you how disappointed we are right now. … We were hopeful, we were optimistic we could do the recovery today, but when we pulled the car from the creek, she was not inside.”
Investigators believe that Jenkins’ car went off the road and into the creek at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday.
She was driving a silver Honda Accord west on Niles Canyon Road when it apparently crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with a white Honda Accord, according to the California Highway Patrol.
After striking the white car, Jenkins’ Honda careened into the creek. It came to rest upside down and was completely submerged by the time officers arrived.
No injuries were reported to passengers of the other car.
The recovery effort was hampered early on by the quickly moving waters of Alameda Creek, which was unusually swollen because of several recent storms.
On Monday morning, crews found what turned out to be Jenkins’ car, but because of the dangerous water conditions they were unable to attempt the recovery until Tuesday.
Her family gathered near the crash site Tuesday and her mother, Denielle Jenkins, asked reporters at a news conference to respect the family’s privacy.
She also asked reporters to refrain from trying to interview classmates at William Jessup University in Rocklin, where Jayda Jenkins studied psychology, according to her Facebook page.
Denielle Jenkins said:
“We are still dealing with the fact that we don’t have our daughter, and our sister and our child home.”
William Jessup University officials issued a statement Tuesday, saying the community:
“… is remaining vigilant in prayer regarding Jayda Jenkins. In the coming days, Jessup’s efforts will be Christ-like in support, love and comforting care for Jayda’s family, and the campus community with professional Christian counselors available on campus for students in addition to faculty and staff.”
The search efforts will now shift focus to areas around the crash site and downstream from where the car plunged into the creek.
Niles Canyon Road, also called state Highway 84, was closed Tuesday in both directions starting at 10 a.m. in order to allow the search teams to work safely.