Today's Paper Digital FAQ Coronavirus Updates Latest Obits HER Jobs Classifieds Newsletters Puzzles Circulars
story.lead_photo.caption A car plunged into the Lake Wright Patman spillway after going through the guard rail and fencing about 6 p.m. Sunday. Photo by Greg Bischof / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Texas — Search teams have recovered a man who has been missing since early Sunday evening after the 2000 GMC Yukon he was in plunged into Wright Patman Lake.

The body of Armando Valdez was found about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Texas Game Warden Shawn Hervey said.

Hervey, who is with the Texas Game Warden's law enforcement division, said search teams found Valdez after a local fisherman spotted the crash victim's body floating on the lake's surface about midway between the spillway and a boat ramp — about half a mile from the spillway.

"He was just down river from where it happened," Hervey said. "He didn't even make it to Highway 59."

Game wardens and dive teams had been trying to find Valdez practically around the clock since Sunday night's accident.

"We were back out at first light, all day, every day," Hervey said.

Hervey called the car going into the spillway "a freak accident."

"It's tragic and our hearts and prayers go out to this family," he said.

Hervey added that Valdez will be sent to Dallas for an autopsy, after which his family members, who live in the Texarkana area, plan to send him back to Mexico for burial.

Lucia Mendoza, 29, who was also inside the car when it plunged into the spillway waters, managed to exit the vehicle shortly after it sank. She escaped with minor injuries and was rescued from the force of the water's spillway flow by a local man once she floated to the water's surface.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.