On April 15th, a red Peugeot was recovered from the river Daugava in the Latvian capital of Riga. Based on CCTV footage, The Riga Municipal Police believe that the vehicle didn’t have its handbrake engaged while sitting in a parking spot and rolled back into the water the previous day.
I occasionally worry that I don’t pull the handbrake with my own car, but my brain never conjures a worst-case scenario this disastrous. I worry about my car rolling into the next parked car parallel parked on the street, not rolling into a river!
On April 14th, the footage shows the Peugeot parking in a row of spots nearby the river. Two people exit the car, and ten minutes later, the vehicle starts creeping backward. A white minivan drives around the Peugeot’s rear without an issue as if it were just avoiding a driver backing out purposely.
As the car picks up momentum and crosses more lanes of traffic, it becomes clear to onlookers that something isn’t right. A white sedan even comes to a complete stop to avoid colliding with the Peugeot and to see what would happen next. Two curious pedestrians also walked towards the riverside.
The Peugeot then misses colliding with four posts and rolls right down a slipway into the Daugava. The vehicle would initially float after entering the water and was carried downstream by the river’s current. The car would later take on too much water and sink to the bottom of the river. Emergency services couldn’t locate the vehicle in the water until the next day.
While it’s unfortunate for the Peugeot’s owner, this was thankfully a single-vehicle incident. It’s going to be difficult not to triple-check your handbrake after watching the video. I can’t even imagine being the person who wrote off their car because they forgot their handbrake. Best wishes and safe parking.