Kayakers Come up Empty During Search for Pedestrian Thrown Into Salinas River

Rescue teams kayaked in the Salinas River on Wednesday to search for a pedestrian who was hit by a car and thrown off the Elm Avenue bridge on Saturday afternoon, Monterey County sheriff's officials said.

A cadaver dog team helped with the search and the sheriff's dive team searched the riverbank from the bridge to Metz Road, but no body was found.

The missing pedestrian was one of three people knocked into the fast-moving river at 1:55 p.m. Saturday, sheriff's officials said.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested the 22-year-old driver, Nicanor Sanchez of Greenfield, who was allegedly driving a 2001 Honda Accord east on Elm Avenue at 60 to 65 mph when his car went through a locked gate to the bridge.

The river had been flowing over the road beyond the gate, CHP officials said.

The two other victims were able to swim to the east shore of the river and cling to tree branches until they were rescued.

Both were taken to Natividad Medical Center, one with major injuries and one with minor injuries.

Sanchez was booked into Monterey County Jail on suspicion of violations including DUI causing bodily injury, driving without a license, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and personally inflicting great bodily injury.

Sanchez is being held on $1.5 million bail.

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