Sixth Victim Found After Floodwaters Wash Out Bridge in Indiana

Jan Wesner Childs
Published: March 21, 2020

Searchers on Saturday recovered the body of a sixth victim after heavy rains and flooding washed out a bridge in Southeast Indiana early Friday morning.

The incident happened at about 5 a.m. EDT on Sanes Creek in Laurel, Indiana, located about halfway between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Capt. Jet Quillen, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, told weather.com Friday afternoon.

"Local dispatch received a 911 call from a witness stating they’d seen headlights off the highway and (were) hearing calls for help," Quillen said.

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Rescuers from the DNR as well as several local fire, sheriff's and ambulance departments responded. They initially found one car in the water, and a second one a short time later.

"As the water receded, we discovered that they hadn’t actually been swept off the roadway – the bridge had washed out," Quillen said.

Four bodies were recovered initially before the fifth was discovered Friday afternoon, according to a news release. The search for the sixth and final body resumed Saturday morning.

An emailed news release Saturday afternoon said the victims from the first car were identified as Shawn Roberts, 47, and Burton Spurlock, 48, both of Laurel. The victims from the second were identified as Felina Lewis, 35, of Laurel and three children, ages 13, 7 and 4, whose names were not released.

The area received 2.54 inches of rain from Wednesday to Friday, and 0.8 inches of that fell after midnight Friday morning, weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles said.

Heavy rain caused flash flooding, high water and at least one road to wash out in parts of nearby Ohio early Friday.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.