September 4, 1996 in Nation/World

Investigators Look For Explanation Of Family’s Drowning

Associated Press

How a truck with five people rolled into the lake where Susan Smith drowned her sons still puzzled investigators Tuesday after an autopsy ruled out any medical problems with the driver.

The five, plus two people who dove in after them, all drowned, Union County Coroner William Holcombe said.

There was no evidence the driver, Tim Phillips, had a heart attack or seizure, so authorities will look for mechanical failure or possible alcohol or drug use to explain how the truck got into John D. Long Lake, Union County Sheriff Howard Wells said.

“Right now, we’re not ruling anything out,” Wells said.

No skid marks were found on the embankment where the vehicle rolled into the lake. Divers found the transmission in park and the ignition still on, but the parking brake was not engaged.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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