FYI: The Ohio River Is Too Deep For A Ford Bronco

Ford has made a big deal about the Bronco’s water fording capabilities. It gives lists based on options of how far you can go and also provides a warning. “Always determine the water depth before attempting a crossing and proceed slowly”-Ford. Unfortunately, not every Bronco owner abides by that, as you can see in these shots.

How did this Ford Bronco sink in the Ohio River?

Ford Bronco in Ohio River
Ford Bronco in the Ohio River | Facebook

This happened earlier this month in Kentucky. A “road closed” sign was placed in front of the path of a river. But a heavy snowfall made the river appear similar to its surrounding snow-covered landscape. So instead of heeding the sign’s warning, this Bronco owner proceeded to drive on. 

Unfortunately, the thin ice sheet and snow sprinkled on top fairly quickly gave way, submerging the new Bronco to its top. The driver and passenger were unharmed, though cold and embarrassed. As for the Bronco, it stayed submerged for a few days before being plucked out of the icy river. That means it will be totaled. 

How could the Bronco driver ignore the ‘road closed’ sign?

Ford Bronco in Ohio River
Ford Bronco in the Ohio River | Facebook

This happened on the Ohio River, and marina owner Dave Landwehr captured these images. He then posted them on the Bronco 6th Gen Facebook group page. Landwehr gave more information to the Drive to explain what might have been going through the driver’s mind.

First, as mentioned, the dusting of snow on the water’s surface gave the impression of a solid chunk of Earth. But the river had steadily risen by several feet with the addition of the snow, ice, and debris. A path in the snow made for travelers remained after the river’s rise, which is why the closed road sign was posted. 

But anyone not familiar with the area and characteristics of the river would not have known this. The rise had resulted in the surface freezing down to the road’s surface. So possibly, the driver thought the sign was there due to icy road conditions. Once out a few feet past the sign, the Bronco broke through the icy surface and disappeared.

The Bronco disappeared under the water

2022 Ford Bronco
2022 Ford Bronco Everglades | Ford

It fell into a deep-enough section that the water was over the Bronco’s top. Because of the ice, the driver and passenger couldn’t open their doors and had to climb out through the top. They swam a short distance to the shore, where residents of an apartment complex were able to assist them. 

With the driver now facing a fine, and also the tab to pluck his Bronco out of the drink, he decided to wait until the river surface lowered. This way, it would be easier to pull it out. But the river took a few days to lower to a level that authorities could snag it. 

It’s a total

Bronco in the Ohio River
Ford Bronco in the Ohio River | Facebook

Being submerged that long means the interior, mechanicals, and electronics are ruined. Even submerged for a short time would have resulted in the same damage. Now it’s just a question of how swiftly it will get stripped at the local wrecking yard it was sent to?

So what lesson did we learn? Abide by the road signs. If it warns not to proceed, believe it. Oh, and to what depth does Ford say you can tread? For the Everglades model, it’s 36.4-inches.

RELATED: The 2022 Ford Bronco Everglades Will Have a Snorkel- Can It Drive Underwater?