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Topaz man found dead in submerged vehicle

March 14, 2012

An Eastern Sierra man died late last week during a fishing excursion along Topaz Lake.
The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the incident, which ended with the body of 74-year-old Francis McConnell, of Topaz, being pulled by a dive team from his submerged vehicle.
According to a press release issued Monday by the Mono County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were notified about 3:30 p.m. Friday that a vehicle “had been driven into the water, from the shoreline, at Topaz Lake.”
Apparently, several friends were fishing along the shoreline when one of them “got into his vehicle attempting to start the engine,” the press release states. “Friends heard a splash and saw the vehicle in the water and floating away from the shore before it completely sank.”
Deputies responded along with the Antelope Valley Fire Department, Mono County Paramedics, the California Highway Patrol and Douglas County, Nev. sheriff’s deputies and Dive Team.
The Douglas County Dive Team, with the assistance of Mono County Paramedics, located McConnell “unrestrained, lifeless and deceased,” the press release states.
McConnell was brought to the surface and transported via boat to the shore.
The cause of the crash, as well as the cause of death is currently under investigation.
The California Highway Patrol is leading the investigation into the crash, while the Mono County Sheriff’s Department will handle the autopsy and toxicology tests required to determine a cause of death.

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