DAYTON, Ohio – A 26-year-old driver mysteriously died in a drainage culvert where he hid after a crash in rural southeastern Ohio and refused to leave when troopers called out to him, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Investigators aren’t sure why Chuck Dickens Jr. fled and hid, how he died or why he was even in Belmont County, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Dickens was from Huber Heights, near Dayton on the opposite side of the state, and relatives thought he was in Cleveland, patrol Lt. James Faunda said. He said Dickens had no criminal history, except a traffic violation.
“I’ve never seen anything like this where a person didn’t have a reason to run,” said Faunda, a 24-year patrol veteran.
Dickens ran down a steep hill to the culvert after sideswiping a vehicle on Interstate 70 on Sunday morning, according to the patrol. Troopers called out to him and say he initially replied but eventually stopped responding.
A robot sent in with a camera showed him face-down in water, and a dive team removed his body. Toxicology and blood tests were planned as investigators try to determine why he died.
Investigators are looking for clues about the case in Dickens’ social media accounts, including some posts made to his Facebook page around the time of the crash, Faunda said.