Three People Trapped In Car After Entering Flooded Tweed River

The Tweed overflowed, damaging homes and small business from Murwillumbah to Condong and along to Tumbulgum, Chinderah and Fingal. Rescuers are searching for passengers believed to be in the water.

Thousands of dollars have been donated to the family of a heroic Kiwi mum who lost her life trying to save her children.

Ms King's vehicle was located several hours later on Monday with sonar equipment about five metres from the northern bank of the river.

General manager Phillip Kelly said Mr Kabealo had become part of the club's family.

Witnesses revealed the girl's father dove into the freezing river along with several others in a bid to save his family, but they were unable to find the vehicle in the murky water. "At first we were going feet first, just pushing down to try and see if we could feel it with our feet". I tried a couple of times, but the bubbles, they trailed away.

"She couldn't say much, she just said my mum, my little sister and my brother have gone in the river in a auto".

The men could not reach the auto.

"She was screaming [that] her mum, little sister and older brother had gone into the river in the car" he told the Seven Network yesterday.

Another said: "Sorry to hear of this devastating news, my hearts breaking for her daughter". She was screaming that her mum, older sister and little brother had gone into the river in the vehicle.

The lifesaver rescue helicopter has also been sent to help with the rescue operation.

Chloe May was taken to the Tweed Hospital with cuts to her legs and neck pain.

The child is now being cared for by family members.

Superintendent Wayne Starling of the local police said it wouldn't surprise him if Stephanie helped Chloe May escape from the vehicle.

"This is a tragic event and we're very concerned a tragic event will unfold over the evening".

It's been reported the road the auto was travelling on was closed and covered in flood debris, but locals continued using it to get to homes in the area.

The river was strewn with debris from the floods.

There are fears three other people - including the child's mother and sibling - are still trapped inside the vehicle.

The eight-year-old girl is being cared for by family members.

"Steph was the sort of mother who would do anything for the kids, she was such a community-minded person, she would get in there and help anyone who needed a hand", she said.

A desperate search is underway for the vehicle after it left Dulguigan Road and ended up in the Tweed River in Tumbulgum at about 1.40pm.

Police revealed that Ms King's body was found clutching one of her children in the submerged van, in what they said was a final heroic act to try to save the child.

The girl, whose age has not been confirmed, is not believed to be in a life-threatening condition.

  • Joey Payne