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A man died Friday afternoon when he drowned in a river during a police chase.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Monday in a news release that the man drowned in the Verdigris River after crashing a stolen ATV into a tree during the chase with an Oklahoma cop.
Investigators determined that a resident called the South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, police department about spotting an ATV headed south from Kansas on U.S. 169 toward the Oklahoma border. The ATV had been reported stolen the night before from the Montgomery County Fair.
“An officer from the South Coffeyville Police Department began pursuing the ATV at a distance, and authorities from Kansas were notified,” KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said in the release.
The ATV driver then turned into a field southeast of Coffeyville and headed toward the river.
“Once the officer caught up, he discovered that the driver of the ATV had crashed into a tree,” Underwood said. “The officer then spotted the man struggling in the nearby Verdigris River.”
A Coffeyville firefighter and a police officer went into the water to try to rescue the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, the KBI said. In an update on Tuesday, the KBI identified the man as Caleb M. O’Donnell, 32, of Coffeyville. Kansas Department of Corrections records show he was on intensive supervision after being convicted in a 2017 drug possesion case.
The investigation is ongoing.