No foul play suspected after car crashes into Great Miami River, one man dead

The body of a young man was found Monday afternoon inside a submerged car recovered from the Great Miami River.

Initial investigations showed that the car could have been underwater since Dec. 31, 2020.

Mark Hess, chief of public safety for FiveRivers Metroparks said that a hit and run crash was reported Jan. 1 in Sunrise park. A witness walking a dog in the area said a small tree at the top of the levee had been struck by a vehicle and there was a license plate at the scene. Rangers did not see any signs of of a vehicle in the area or evidence that a vehicle was in the river, Hess said.

ExplorePHOTOS: Vehicle pulled from Great Miami River Monday afternoon

The Dayton Fire Department launched a boat just after 2 p.m. Monday to search for a vehicle in the water near Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and West Third Street in Dayton.

A tow truck later responded to the river, and helped to pull the car ashore. A sheet was placed on its top around 3:45 p.m.

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The Dayton Fire Department searched for submerged truck in Great Miami River near West Third Street on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY
The Dayton Fire Department searched for submerged truck in Great Miami River near West Third Street on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY

The body was that of a young man but his identity has not been released.

On Jan 4, the victim’s father reported him missing to the Trotwood Police Department. Once officers realized the missing man was the one involved in the crash, efforts to find the car redoubled, Hess said. On Jan. 5, Hess said two crash reconstruction experts from the Ohio State Highway Patrol visited the scene.

MetroParks rangers worked with the Vandalia Police Division to deploy a drone to look in the river from above and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Water Rescue used their underwater drone and sonar-equipped boat to locate the vehicle, despite the fact that there was no evidence of a vehicle underwater. Hess said he suspected the missing man would be in the vehicle when they located it.

Initial reports show no foul play. There were no witnesses and there were no 911 calls to report the crash, Hess said. FiveRivers Metro Parks is investigating the crash.

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