Driver Killed After Vehicle Becomes Submerged In Flash Flood

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 19:39:04-04

MONTEREY, Tenn. - The George Branch Creek near Monterey moved swiftly downstream Friday. Hours before the waters looked more like a raging river.

"We were going really slow because the weather was bad," Andrew Baarr said

Baarr was on his way to his parent’s house from North Carolina, his sister Stevie was a few minutes behind him. Once on George Branch Drive they stopped to check it out and found they were not the only ones on the road early that morning.

"The car was laying in this area, long ways, along with the culvert pipe. The water level was up to the hood at that time," Baarr explained.

A man was still inside the vehicle.

"Then we tried to yell out to him, see if there was any response," Baarr said.

Friends tell us the man inside the vehicle was Dale Wilson, age 31. His friend spent the day visiting the scene.

"He called me and said Dale is dead. I said oh my gosh what happened," friend, Rachel Guffey said.

For his family the July 4th weekend has begun with tragedy.

"He had just got a good job, just got a good job. His girlfriend, she's a sweet lady and I feel so sorry for her," Guffey said.

Currently the only way across George Branch Drive is on a makeshift bridge. The Cumberland County Highway Department plans to have a temporary bridge built within a few days, but residents who have been trapped on the other side hope it's sooner.

There were reports of flooding in several counties on the eastern side of Middle Tennessee. Reports of flood waters or roads washed out were coming in from Putnam, Cumberland, Macon and Jackson Counties.