An allegedly intoxicated woman drove her car into Lake Mercer in Mercer County Park on Friday night during a heavy rainstorm. The woman escaped but the car sank into the lake.

Authorities investigate the scene where a woman drove her car into Lake Mercer on July 3, 2020.

Police said that Lauren K. Engel of Dumont was was driving around the park trying to find an exit at about 9 p.m. when she drove her 2010 Nissan Rogue down the boat launch and into the lake.

She managed to escape from the vehicle, but she was unable to contact anyone for help until 11:19 p.m. because she had “no means to contact the WWPD or anyone else at that time of night during a storm and given her secluded location,” said Lt. Mark Lee.

Police responding to the scene met with Engel and determined that she had only sustained minor injuries. She was evaluated by members of West Windsor Emergency Services and declined to be transported to a hospital.

Engel was found to be intoxicated and transported to police headquarters for processing, Lt. Lee said. She was also charged with reckless driving and careless driving and then released pending a future court date.

Meanwhile, other responders at the scene searched the car and surrounding water to make sure that there was no one else in the car when it sank. The submerged Rogue was pulled out of the water by Grover’s Mill Towing, which took about two hours.

This accident is still under investigation by the West Windsor Police Traffic Bureau.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Traffic Officer Kyle Brown at or Traffic Sgt. Frank Bal at

Responding to the scene were: Officer Brown, lead accident investigator; Officer Caulfield, lead DWI investigator; the West Windsor Police Patrol Division and Traffic Bureau; the West Windsor Division of Fire and Emergency Services; West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1; Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station #44; Luis Reyes, deputy director of Mercer County Park Rangers; the Hightstown Dive Team; and Grover’s Mill Towing.