Man drowns after falling down steep embankment in Bobcat excavator, landing in river

FILE PHOTO - Crews began searching the riverbank, where they located the man’s body about 200...
FILE PHOTO - Crews began searching the riverbank, where they located the man’s body about 200 yards down from the Bobcat.(SabrinaPintus/Getty Images Signature via Canva)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 7:28 AM HST
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CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (WSAZ/Gray News) – A man in West Virginia died after he fell down a steep embankment in a Bobcat excavator and landed in a river, where he is believed to have drowned.

According to Chesapeake police, a 79-year-old man was using the excavator Sunday evening when it fell approximately 75 feet into about 30 feet of water in the Kanawha River.

The 911 caller said the man was using an excavator around his property and believed he had fallen into the river.

When first responders arrived, they were able to find the Bobcat, but the man was no longer inside.

Crews began searching the riverbank, where they located the man’s body about 200 yards down, entangled in brush and branches.

Police said preliminary investigation points to drowning as the cause of death, but an official determination will be made upon the medical examiner’s report.

Police said while the death is under investigation, it appears to be a tragic accident.