EDWARDSVILLE — A Highland man died after his truck rolled into a lake, according to a press release from the Madison County Coroner’s Office.
Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn said an autopsy has been completed in the death investigation of Eugene Kovach, 86, of the 900 block of Helvetia Drive.
Kovach had originally been reported missing to authorities on Monday, Nov. 3. A Tuesday afternoon search of a private lake north of the 12000 block of Decks Prairie Lane — which was known to be frequented by Kovach for fishing — located his submerged pickup truck. Upon closer inspection by members of the O’Fallon Underwater Search and Recovery Team, his body was discovered inside. The decedent was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, by Madison County Coroner’s Investigator Todd R. Ballard.
Nonn ordered an autopsy in an attempt to explain if Kovach suffered a medical event behind the wheel that would allow the truck to roll into the lake. Kovach had diabetes and cardiac disease.
The autopsy Wednesday, Nov. 5, revealed preliminary findings that the decedent died as a result of drowning. A final ruling of the decedent’s cause of death will not be made pending completion of routine toxicology analysis for the presence of alcohol and drugs. The search and subsequent investigation was carried out by the Highland Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.
Funeral arrangements are pending and are under the care of Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.