Bodies of Thai students recovered after crashing into Kings River in July

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The Fresno County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team recovered the bodies of two foreign exchanged students who crashed into the Kings River over a month ago. (KFSN)

Over a month after slamming through the guardrail and plummeting off a cliff - a mangled red Hyundai Sonata was slowly moved from the river to the shore.

"It took them just over an hour for them to manually move the vehicle from its resting place over to the side, and again it was manual so it was inch by inch to move this vehicle," Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Nearly six weeks ago, 28-year-old Golf Chairatanasongporn and 24-year-old Min Sangsuriyarit died while touring the Kings Canyon national forest.

On Friday, family members and a Buddhist monk waited near the recovery issue until the bodies were recovered. The Thai Consul General said loved ones were allowed to say a prayer with the remains before they were transported to the Fresno County Coroner's Office.

"The families are devastated," Tanee Sangrat said. "They have agonized each and every day watching the water current levels."

The California Highway Patrol is still trying to figure out what may have prompted the pair to veer off Highway 180 near Convict Flat and Horseshoe Bend.

"Right now we're unsure how it happened," Cmdr. Shaun Crosswhite said. "There's no any indication right now there were any other vehicles involved, but we won't know until we're able to look at the vehicles."

Officers say the red car will remain at the scene until water levels drop more. The next mission is to find a way to recover the bodies of two Chinese tourists from San Diego who also plunged off a cliff in the same area.

These recoveries are challenging because of the steep rocky terrain and swift cold river. Friday, deputies said the water rose recently and was deeper than they expected.
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crashmissing manFresno County
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