A man whose body was recovered from a rain-swollen Madison County creek Tuesday night has been identified as Eugene Paul Wren, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Wren, 42, lived along Ky. 21, which parallels Paint Lick Creek, where his body was found, said Deputy Willard Reardon, public affairs officer for the sheriff's department.
Rescue crews recovered Wren's body late Tuesday, after a search that began when Wren's car was found almost completely submerged in the creek about 3 p.m. Authorities said searchers spotted Wren's body about 7 p.m., but finding a way to safely remove it from the fast-running water took until almost midnight.
Paint Lick Creek follows the line between Madison and Garrard counties.
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Madison County received more than 3 inches of rain Monday night and Tuesday morning, causing high water that blocked numerous roads during the day.
Reardon said authorities weren't sure what happened, but the assumption is that Wren's car slipped or was washed into the fast-running creek.
A resident spotted the roof of Wren's car and called police, officials said. When emergency workers reached the vehicle they found it was empty.
Searchers from the Madison County Rescue Squad, the Berea Fire Department and the Richmond Fire Department then began combing the creek. They found the body about four hours later, pushed up against some heavy vegetation in the high water, officials said.
The current was moving about 10 mph Tuesday night, causing dangerous conditions for those trying to recover the body, officials said.
"Most days you can walk across the creek; yesterday it was a river," Reardon said. "Maybe he hydroplaned or hit some high water and it took him over. We don't know for sure. We may never know."
The body was to be taken to Frankfort for an autopsy Wednesday.