Man Drives His Car Into the Columbia River - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Man Drives His Car Into the Columbia River

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--For some, celebrating the New Year began a few hours early.

Believe it or not, this was the scene around 5:00 p.m. Monday (December 31st, 2007) afternoon at the Clover Island Inn. According to police, witnesses saw a man driving at a very high rate of speed on Clover Island drive and on the grounds of the hotel.

The driver, 62-year-old Michael Peterson, apparently lost control of his vehicle, went over the bank and eventually landed in the Columbia River.

"This is not something we respond to everyday, somebody driving in the river," says Corporal Bryan Weatherbee, Kennewick police department. I've never responded to a call like this before. So I wouldn't say it was usual."

Peterson was arrested. He is being charged with Investigation of DUI. Kennewick Fire department and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue members were trying to pull the car closer to land so a tow truck could pull it out of the water. No major injuries were reported.