Man and woman die after becoming trapped in car in flooded Liverpool road

Police said the car was submerged in heavy flooding in south Liverpool on Saturday night. Credit: Chabad - Lubavitch Liverpool

'Devoted grandparents' have died after getting trapped in a car which was driven into flood water on a road in the Mossley Hill area of Liverpool.

The couple were discovered after police were called to reports of concern for safety of a man and a woman who were inside a black Mercedes that drove into a flooded area.

Merseyside Police say officers arrived on Queens Drive, between North Mossley Hill Road and Dovedale Road, at around 9.20pm on Saturday 26 August.

Police patrols helped Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service at the scene to find the man and woman, who have now been named as Philip and Elaine Marco.

They were taken to hospital where they later died.

Their deaths have been described as a "terrible loss" to their community, with their Rabbi calling them "dedicated and devoted grandparents".

Eyewitness Rebecca Wilson, 27, passed the area in a taxi and said the water was around 15ft deep. She believes the flooding may have been caused by a burst pipe.

She said: “It looked like a waterfall coming down from the side of the bridge.

"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."

Motorists were advised to avoid the road as investigations continued. Credit: Jason Roberts/Liverpool Echo

Those living around the area said the road, which dips as it goes beneath a bridge, has long been a problem.

They said that multiple cars have been stuck in deep water in the last few months, which they said floods whenever there is torrential rain.

Resident Phil Watson said he was aware of the heavy rain on Saturday.

"This road does block, it has a history of flooding. Normally what has happens is a car goes down, it gets stuck in the water, the driver gets out and then they walk to safety. 

"The difference this time, I think, is the depth of the water, which was way beyond what we have experienced in 25 years.

"It's ended in tragedy, it's absolutely heartbreaking.

He added: "Could this have been prevented? Well everybody around here knows that this road floods, it's never flooded like this before to this depth in my experience.

"The rain was incredibly heavy, I'm a man of a certain age and I've never known rain to fall that heavily, that quickly in such a short space of time."

Local councillor Richard Kemp said he was "shocked but not surprised" at what had happened.

"This is the third bad flooding that we've had in this area this year," he said.

"This is far worse than anything else we've had and at one stage the water was up within three feet of the bottom of the bridge, normally it's six to eight feet.

"I can never recall a year where we've had three bad incidents."

Councillor Kemp said he was at the scene on Saturday and saw the submerged car.

"By the time I saw anything, the car was well under water and completely submerged," he added. "About three to four feet of water on top of them. 

"The anguish of some of the people here, you can imagine - knowing that something was going on that you could do nothing about."

He said Liverpool City Council has told him it will now call an emergency meeting to see what can be done to warn others about the potential dangers.

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with those involved and their families.

“Council officers from highways and City Watch supported the emergency services in responding.

"The road is expected to remain closed for some time while an investigation takes place, and motorists are asked to continue to avoid the area.”

A file has been passed to the coroner who has asked Merseyside Police to further investigate the incident.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Dalton said: "Our thoughts go out to the family of the man and woman who sadly lost their lives in this tragic incident, despite the best efforts of passing members of the public, our officers and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service at the scene."

The road is known for flooding, and on 8 July 2023, a woman had to be rescued from her car on the flooded stretch by emergency services.

It had become stuck in rising flood water under the bridge on Queens Drive following heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The woman was rescued by fire crews who placed her onto a raft. Credit: Peter Byrne / PA

Police are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, or who has footage from Saturday night, to contact them.