Police retrieve body from river

POLICE divers recovered the body of a 77-year-old Lismore man from the Wilsons River on Saturday night after a witness saw him drive his car into the water early on Friday morning.

Lismore police received a call at around 5.30am on Friday to attend a house in Esmonde Street after neighbours became concerned for the welfare of the elderly male occupant.

Two police cars attended but after being told the man had left five minutes earlier, they conducted a search of the area.

At about 5.45am police received a call from a man who claimed he saw a vehicle being driven into the river near the boat ramp beside the Ballina Street bridge.

When police arrived they found the water 'calm and still'.

Police interviewed a couple who were sleeping in a car nearby, but they had not seen anything. Police then spoke to a man in the car park who had made the call to police.

Detectives attended the area and a crime scene established.

The SES was called, along with police divers from Sydney.

The police divers, who had to drive to Lismore in their truck, arrived at 7.45pm on Saturday.

The divers dragged the river and located the vehicle in about five metres of water, 20 metres from the eastern side of the Wilsons River.

The body of the man was found inside the vehicle and his death is now being investigated by the Coroner.

The man, who's name had not been released yesterday afternoon, had no known family in the area.

Police investigating the death have spoken to the man's medical specialists regarding the state of his health. A post-mortem examination will be conducted this week.

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