Man found dead in flooded creek in Virginia; car had been reported to be sinking

May 18

A man was found dead in Virginia over the weekend in a car that had apparently been swept away by fast-moving flood waters from the recent heavy rains, authorities said.

The body of Bryan Sears, 23, who was from Middletown, Md., was found Saturday about 200 yards north of a bridge across a creek in Frederick County, Va., said Capt. Donald Lang, of the Frederick County sheriff’s office.

Lang said Sears was found near the place from where an emegency call was made about 4:20 a.m. Friday from someone saying that his vehicle was sinking after filling with water.

The call ended before further details could be obtained. However, rescuers went to the area, near the bridge which is used to cross the Opequon Creek in low water. But due to darkness and the severe flooding of the creek, nothing was found.

The search was renewed during daylight on Friday, but with waters still high, nothing was found, authorities said.

On Saturday, after the creek had receded, a vehicle was found downstream from the bridge, and Sears was found inside. The site is northeast of Winchester, Va.

As of Sunday evening, Lang said, it was not clear what had happened. But he said authorities believed that Sears may have been trying to cross the bridge before falling victim to the rising waters. He said the creek rose as much as 15 feet as a result of runoff from the rain.

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