A man who apparently crashed his vehicle early Sunday into a drainage ditch is believed to have died minutes later when he “got out of his car and ended up face down in a puddle,” TV station WCTI reports.
Investigators say an autopsy is underway to confirm it was a drowning, and “foul play” is not suspected, the station said.
The man, who has not been identified, had been attending at a party where he was allegedly drinking, Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram told WNCT.
Deputies say the body was reported about noon Sunday and was located by deputies in the 300 block of Neuse Road, in south Kinston, WNCT reported. Kinston is about 90 miles southeast of Raleigh.
The crash came after a front of severe storms rolled through Friday and Saturday, causing heavy rain in Lenoir County and other areas of eastern North Carolina, WCTI reported.
Investigators theorize the man was able to free himself from the vehicle on his own, but then “collapsed in the ditch into some standing water” and remained lying there until he drowned, according to WITN.
Media outlets did not report what time the crash is believed to have happened, or whether the victim sustained any other injuries.