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Suspect That Drowned Following Police Chase Identified

The man that drowned will fleeing the police on a stolen ATV in southeast Kansas has been identified at 32-year-old Caleb O’Donnell of Coffeyville. That incident happened Friday afternoon when O’Donnell was pursued by police from Oklahoma into Kansas, crashed into a tree and ran into the Verdigris River. Police and firefighters tried to save him, but were unsuccessful.

Here’s the full press release from the KBI:


MONTGOMERY COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) identified the man who drowned in the Verdigris River on Aug. 16, as Caleb M. O’Donnell, 32, of Coffeyville, Kan.

The investigation is ongoing. Nothing further will be released at this time.



MONTGOMERY COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is conducting a death investigation after a man drowned in the Verdigris River on Friday afternoon.

On Friday, Aug. 16, at approximately 1:35 p.m., the Coffeyville Police Dept. requested KBI assistance to investigate a drowning that occurred following a police pursuit.

Preliminary information suggests that on Aug. 16 at approximately 12:20 p.m., the South Coffeyville, Okla. Police Department received a call from a citizen who spotted an ATV that had been reported stolen from the Montgomery County Fair on Thursday night. The ATV was first observed in Kansas, headed South on U.S. Highway 169 toward the Oklahoma border. An officer from the South Coffeyville Police Department began pursuing the ATV at a distance, and authorities from Kansas were notified. The officer saw the ATV turn north near 500 E. 1400 Rd., and travel through a field toward the Verdigris River.  Once the officer caught up, he discovered that the driver of the ATV had crashed into a tree. The officer then spotted the man struggling in the nearby Verdigris River.

The Coffeyville Police Department, the Coffeyville Fire Department, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

Authorities threw ropes to the man to try to help him. An officer from the Coffeyville Police Department, and a member of the Coffeyville Fire Department entered the water and tried to rescue the man, but were unsuccessful. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

At this time, police have not positively identified the man, but expect that this will occur during the autopsy that is scheduled for Tuesday. The deceased man was a white male in his 20s.

This investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.




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