Man dies in rain-related drowning

Published 11:59 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

A Florala man drowned in floodwaters Sunday after driving his pickup off a washed-out road in northwest Florida.

The Okaloosa County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 75-year-old John H. Stevens, a resident on Florala’s Glen Chambers Road.

Reports indicate Stevens’ vehicle washed off a roadway and became submerged in floodwaters near Pond Creek Bridge on Florida’s State Road 393, north of Dorcas, Fla.

Witnesses said they saw his truck try to drive across a washed-out road before a strong, deep current swept the truck off the pavement.

Rescue workers were thwarted in their attempts to get to the truck by blocked, washed-out roads and fast moving, rising waters.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday by the Okaloosa/Walton Medical Examiner’s Office.

To date, it is the only reported weather-related death of a Covington County resident. Waters are expected to rise locally as another series of severe weather is expected to hit the county today and continue through Thursday.