COFFEYVILLE, Kan.– The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is conducting a death investigation after a man drowned in the Verdigris River.
Around 1:35 p.m. on Friday, the Coffeyville Police Department requested KBI assistance to investigate a drowning that occurred following a police pursuit.
Earlier, around 12:20 p.m. on Friday, the Coffeyville Police Department received a call from a citizen who spotted an ATV that had been reported stolen from the Montgomery County Fair on Thursday night. The ATV was first observed in Kansas, headed South on U.S. Highway 169 toward the Oklahoma border.
An officer from the Coffeyville Police Department began pursuing the ATV at a distance, and authorities from Kansas were notified.
The officer saw the ATV turn north near 500 E. 1400 Road, and travel through a field toward the Verdigris River. Once the officer caught up, he discovered that the driver of the ATV had crashed into a tree. The officer then spotted the man struggling in the nearby Verdigris River.
The police department, Coffeyville Fire Department, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.
Authorities threw ropes to the man to try to help him. An officer and a member of the Coffeyville Fire Department entered the water and tried to rescue the man, but were unsuccessful. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
At this time, police have not positively identified the man, but expect that this will occur during the autopsy that is scheduled for Tuesday. The deceased man was a white male in his 20’s.
This investigation is ongoing at this time.
(Press release from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation)