A heartbreaking incident unfolded as an elderly couple lost their lives in a submerged Mercedes, a stark reminder of the vulnerability posed by floods. The tragedy occurred in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, where concerns about flooding were voiced two decades ago.
Philip and Elaine Marco, aged 77 and 75 respectively, were identified as the victims of the accident that transpired on Saturday night. This loss was deeply felt by their community, as the couple, residing in the city, were cherished members of the neighborhood.
The couple’s family expressed their grief, stating, “We are devastated and heartbroken by the sudden loss of Elaine and Philip Marco. They were much-loved parents to four children and 10 grandchildren. The family are arriving overseas from America and Australia to mourn their loss. They were due to celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary next week, and our only comfort is knowing that they were together to the very end.”
Merseyside Police responded to a distress call at 9:20 pm, alerting them to a man and woman stranded in floods on Queens Drive. Witnesses attempted to rescue the couple, but were thwarted by the treacherous conditions.
Meteorological data from the Met Office disclosed heavy rainfall exceeding 32mm (1.25 inches) per hour in close proximity to the incident site. Flood alerts and warnings remained active for certain Merseyside areas over the weekend.
Strikingly, safety apprehensions about the road where the couple met their fate had surfaced earlier. Residents revealed that multiple vehicles had been ensnared in deep water beneath the bridge in recent months. The road was temporarily closed to facilitate the police investigation.
A previous incident on July 3 saw a woman rescued from her car in the same spot after becoming trapped due to heavy rain and thunderstorms. Rebecca Wilson, who narrowly escaped a similar fate, recounted, “As I looked back out of the window, I turned to my mates and told them I thought I had just seen red lights under the water and I thought maybe someone had become stuck. I rang the police just to be safe.”
Notably, local authorities have been urged to address the longstanding issues of the road’s drainage system and illumination. Richard Kemp, Deputy Lord Mayor, emphasized the need for improved infrastructure to mitigate such tragedies.
Liverpool City Council expressed condolences, stating, “This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with those involved and their families.” The road closure is expected to persist while the investigation unfolds, and motorists are advised to avoid the area.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Dalton emphasized the ongoing nature of the investigation, urging motorists to steer clear of the affected area during this process.