WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-- A man is dead after his body was found Hadley Lake early Saturday morning. The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a vehicle in the water on Morehouse Road in West Lafayette, around 1:45 a.m.
Emergency responders arrived on scene and determined the driver had abandoned the vehicle. Deputies were unable to find the driver at that time and contacted Warren County Sheriff’s Office and attempted to contact the registered owner’s residence.
Deputies spoke with family to check the wellbeing of the driver. Attempts were unsuccessful at that time.
As additional daylight became available around 5:35 a.m., deputies returned to the location in response to a possible person in the water.
When deputies arrived, they located tennis shoes visible under the water’s surface. Further investigation and natural lighting revealed a male in the water, who was later identified as the driver, 54-year-old Bryan Lee Johnson of Otterbein.
The investigation indicated the driver had been involved in a slide-off collision and abandoned the vehicle.
Crash Reconstructionists were called to the scene for further investigation and determined the driver was not ejected from the vehicle.
According to police, the driver is believed to have fled the vehicle to avoid detection by law enforcement and emergency responders. Officers also believe the driver died from possible exposure and drowning.
The Tippecanoe County Coroner’s Office is conducting further investigation and an autopsy has been scheduled. Drugs or alcohol are suspected to be factors in the crash, however, toxicology screenings are currently pending.
This case remains under investigation.
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