As the last of Hurricane Irma’s force poured down Monday on South Florida, a Fort Pierce man was dead in a 2009 Kia Sportage submerged in water along Interstate 95.
Florida Highway Patrol authorities weren’t notified about the body, or the car, until late Monday morning. Inside they found 52-year-old John Dale Lewis.
Authorities aren’t sure exactly when the fatal wreck in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 near the Indrio Road exit occurred. St. Lucie County did not issue a curfew, but county authorities urged drivers to stay off the roads during and after the storm.
But they suspect Lewis, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, drove onto the eastern shoulder of the road and hit a metal light pole. The car rotated clockwise, hit a metal fence and overturned into nearby water.
Authorities found the car on its roof submerged in the water.
It was unclear why Lewis drove onto the shoulder of the Interstate or whether alcohol may have contributed to the wreck.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, according to FHP.