Police believe Indiana man drowned trying to avoid detection

File photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A man drowned Friday night after abandoning his vehicle on Morehouse Road in West Lafayette. Police believe the man, identified as 54-year-old Bryan Lee Johnson, was trying to avoid police by hiding in Hadley Lake after a slide-off collision.

Police initially responded to the abandoned vehicle around 1:45 a.m. Saturday morning. When officers couldn’t find the driver, they contacted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. They contacted the family for further help but were unable to find the driver that night.

At around 5:35 a.m., officers saw tennis shoes in the water. When the lighting improved, they found Johnson’s submerged body. Police believe exposure and drowning killed Johnson. Water temperatures were somewhere around 70 degrees.

Crash reconstructionists confirmed Johnson was not thrown from the vehicle. Although toxicology screenings are still underway, police suspect drugs or alcohol were involved.

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