Searchers find child's body in Albany creek - KPTV - FOX 12

Bodies of mother, son found after car swept into Albany creek

Posted: Updated: Jan 19, 2012 02:35 PM
ALBANY, OR (KPTV) -

The body of a toddler and his mother have been recovered in Albany after a car full of people was swept into a swollen creek Wednesday night.

Officials say the car was in the Mega Foods parking lot on Queen Avenue Southeast at about 7 p.m. when it drove through water and was washed into Perrywinkle Creek.

There were four people in the car at the time, police say.

The driver, 24-year-old Christopher Wilgus, and his son, 5-year-old Maliki Wilgus, were rescued after being carried downstream.

Maliki is in critical condition at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. His father has been treated and released.

Police say 18-year-old Catherine McLaughlin, a passenger in the car, was found by family members Thursday in the creek near the 1100 block of Geary Street. The body of her 20-month-old son, Aiden McLaughlin, was located several hundred yards downstream early Thursday morning.

The car has not yet been recovered.

Initially, divers searched the flood waters but were pulled out because of safety concerns.

Witnesses tried to help the people inside the car.

Zach Williams says he and his friend were taking a look at the flooded parking lot when he saw Wilgus turn into the creek, possibly thinking it was a road. Williams and his friend tried to save the people inside.

"I did what I thought I could. I tried to open the doors. The doors were obviously locked. When he broke the window, I assumed the child in the back was old enough to get out through the window," Williams said. "Apparently, it was just an infant."

Because of the high water, several streets in the area have been closed off in the area.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Albany Police Department at 541-917-7680.

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