Van overturns into water-filled ditch, killing man, injuring 4 near Cynthiana

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMay 5, 2013 

One man died and four others were injured Sunday after a van crashed and landed upside down in a ditch containing more than 3 feet of water, Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton said.

The identity of the man who died is unknown because the other men claim not to have known him, Hampton said.

"We suspect he drowned," the sheriff said, adding that an autopsy would be performed Monday by the state medical examiner's office.

The 2005 Ford van was traveling east on Ky. 36 when it went off the side of the road, hit a tree, went along an embankment and then struck a telephone pole, Hampton said.

The van flipped and landed upside down in a ditch swollen with water from recent rains. All five men were trapped in the van and were freed by Harrison County fire and rescue workers.

The four survivors were taken to Harrison Memorial Hospital in Cynthiana, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Hampton identified the survivors as Ramon Rubio, 44, Benjamin Rostro, 36, and Geraldo Rocha, 27, all of Cincinnati; and Eduardo Reyneros, 41, of Cynthiana. All were charged with alcohol intoxication and lodged in the Bourbon County Detention Center in Paris.

Rocha also was charged with failure to maintain required insurance on the van, Hampton said.

The survivors told authorities the dead man was the driver, Hampton said, but the deceased was found wearing a seat belt in the front passenger seat.

The crash was reported at 2 p.m. Sunday about six miles west of Cynthiana.

Hampton said he wanted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to step in and put a detainer on the four survivors.

Ky. 36 was closed for about two hours Sunday afternoon before it reopened to traffic about 4 p.m.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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