New Mexico State Police has identified the Carlsbad man who was found dead after he drove into rain-driven floodwaters and was swept away on Tuesday night.
State Police spokesman Ray Wilson said divers found 63-year-old John Koch’s body on Wednesday evening.
Wilson said sometime before 10 p.m. on Tuesday Koch drove his Jeep Wrangler “for unknown reasons” past barricades and into floodwaters that were “rapidly flowing over the roadway” near Boyd Drive and Monterrey Road.
He said Koch’s Jeep overturned several times and was swept away in the Dark Canyon Draw Arroyo. Wilson said local authorities tried an immediate rescue but were unable to use swift water teams “due to the high volume and intensity of the water.”
“The decision was made to delay recovery efforts until floodwaters subsided to a safe level for personnel to enter the water,” he said.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported that State Police and local fire crews used a drone on Wednesday afternoon to scan an area near a low water crossing along Boyd Drive. The drone was able to pinpoint the spot where Koch’s body and his Jeep washed up before divers were sent in.