Driver of submerged truck in Cedar River identified as Cedar Rapids employee

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Officials have identified the name of the driver they have been searching for in the Cedar River since a vehicle was recovered there on Saturday afternoon.

Erik Spaw, 54, of Cedar Rapids, was the driver of the vehicle who is now missing. Spaw works for the Cedar Rapids Water division, according to the city, and was driving a city-owned fleet vehicle.

Officials said that Spaw had worked a shift at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant on Friday, May 6, but failed to return to the J Avenue Water Treatment Plant where his personal vehicle was located.

Recovery teams located the city fleet vehicle in the Cedar River near Ellis Road NW, west of its intersection with Edgewood Road NW. City officials confirmed that the last known geolocation of Spaw’s assigned vehicle was in the vicinity.

“We are extremely saddened to face the loss of an employee,” Roy Hesemann, utilities director for the City of Cedar Rapids, said, in a statement. “Erik was a valued employee who gave many years of service to the City, and we are grateful for his dedication. We grieved with his family, staff who worked with Erik, and the community.”

Search and recovery efforts continued on Sunday, with teams using sonar-equipped boats and drag lines to search for Shaw near the vehicle submersion site and downstream.

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