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Man drowns during police chase
Deputy's attempts to save victim fail
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An Evans County man drowned when he fell into a pond while being chase on foot by a Liberty County deputy early Friday.
Liberty County Chief Deputy Keith Moran said the deputy tried to get the man out of the pond, but failed. He did not identify the deputy and said Saturday he was unsure if the victim's family had been notified. Calls to the Liberty County Coroner's Office Saturday were not returned by our deadline.
According to Moran, shortly after 3 a.m., the deputy stopped a driver suspected of driving under the influence on Highway 84 in Flemington, near the Holiday Inn Express.
When the deputy approached the Ford Crown Victoria, Moran said, the man bolted and ran into some woods behind the hotel. The driver has not been identified pending notification of the victim's family.
As the man ran through the brush and trees with the deputy in pursuit he fell into the pond, Moran said. The man thrashed about in the frigid water, and the pursuing deputy made several attempts to pull him out, Moran said.
The man eventually disappeared under the water's surface.
A dive team composed of members of the Hinesville Fire and Police departments arrived and eventually found the man's body about 12 feet out from the edge of the pond.
Moran said the man was a resident of Evans County and appeared to be in his late 20s.
His body was taken to the GBI crime lab in Savannah, where an autopsy was completed. Moran said the preliminary autopsy report is that the man drowned in an accident.
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