Family believes father was in car that fell into river on Valentine’s Day


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Antonio Amaro Lopez texted his family at around 5 p.m. Sunday to let them know he was on his way home from work.

Lopez, who works at his family’s restaurant, Amaro’s table in Hazel Dell, Washington, regularly checks in with his family when he leaves work and always lets them know when he will be late, said daughter, Abi Amaro.

But this time, he didn’t come home, she said.

“It turned to 7, 8, and (my mom) texted him again, ‘I’m worried, where are you?’ And no response,” Amaro said.

Amaro said she believes her father may have been the driver in a car that slid off the Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge on Interstate 205 into the Columbia River on Sunday evening. The bridge spans the river between Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

“He has a 6-year-old granddaughter that he lives with,” Amaro said, in tears. “We’re telling her he’s lost and we’re trying to find him. We just need everybody’s help. If you saw something … just whatever little insight they have can help us.”

Coast Guard officials confirmed details of the crash Sunday, but Portland police took over the investigation Monday and said no car had been located.

“Based on physical evidence and witness statements, it appears a vehicle traveling south on the freeway lost control and went over the guardrail between the Oregon-Washington border and Government Island,” Portland Police Bureau said in a statement.

Police added, “According to the investigators, the vehicle has not been located and they have no vehicle or passenger details to release.”

A boat crew searched within the vicinity of the area but did not find the vehicle, said Coast Guard spokesman Michael Clark.

Amaro said her father was driving a maroon Subaru Tribeca, similar to a description a witness gave to police.

“The police gave us a warning, a heads up that there was an accident on the bridge with a similar coloring,” she said.

Amaro said she has been calling hospitals all over Vancouver and Portland trying to find any leads on her missing father. She said she is frustrated with the police, saying they are not being proactive enough in the search.

Amaro said her father is a family man and that it is “completely out of character” for him to be gone so long without communicating with his family.

Portland police said the investigation is ongoing.

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