Philip and Elaine Marco were in a black Mercedes A180 when it became trapped in Liverpool’s Mossley Hill. They were pulled from the car by emergency personnel but were pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. The grandparents were prominent in the local Jewish community.
Their relatives said last night: “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.
“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.”
Paying tribute, a friend said: “May Hashem [God] heal the torn hearts of their children and grandchildren. A huge loss to our community.”
Another said: “Baruch Dayan HaEmet [Hebrew for Blessed be the Judge]. My thoughts and prayers are with their family.”
Residents said the Queens Drive dip was notorious for sudden flooding. Liverpool City Council said the road would stay closed as an investigation into Saturday’s tragedy took place.
The deaths prompted many tributes. Debbie Mills said: “Terribly sad reading this, it’s been flooding for years. Absolutely horrific for the two people who have sadly lost their lives.”
A married couple died when their car sank in 15ft floods under a bridge following torrential downpours.
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Moria Berry King added: “This is awful. God bless them. Deepest condolences to their families and friends.”
DCI 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 Services.
We are at the early stages of an ongoing investigation on Queens Drive to establish the circumstances.
“We are continuing to appeal to anyone who was on Queens Drive, between North Mossley Hill Road and Dovedale Road at around 9.20pm…and saw the accident, or who stopped to try help or anyone who had any dashcam footage from their car to come forward as soon as possible.”
Eyewitnesses said they saw a submerged car under the bridge. Rebecca Wilson, 27, said her taxi nearly drove into the deep water which she believes may have been due to a burst pipe.
She said: “We went to turn around the car and all of a sudden 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. The water just came out of nowhere.
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“The water was gushing down like a waterfall and it was tons and tons. It looked like a burst dam and I think it must have been 15ft high.”
Locals said several cars had been stuck in deep water there recently. One man said: “I’ve never seen it that bad. It was absolutely lashing it down. But nearly every time it rains they seem to have to close the road.
“You could see the waves on it. They had a drone over the top and you could hear the pumps.” Another neighbour added: “It floods every time you have torrential rain. There is nothing leading it to warn people of the flooding.”
He said buses also used to become trapped when it rained. Liverpool’s deputy lord mayor Richard Kemp said he had raised concerns about local flooding for some 20 years: “The major problem is that the core of the drainage system is more than 150 years old and is clearly inadequate.
We need a better drainage system, better lighting and an electric warning system for drivers.”
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