Bloomington police: Man dies in flood, was driver of car swept up in rushing waters

In a press release issued early Sunday afternoon, Bloomington’s police department announced a search team discovered the body of a man who was reported missing, after the car he was driving was swept up in floodwaters on Friday night.

Red and blue areas are flood areas defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purple circles indicate about where the car drove into the water, and where the body was discovered. (Map by The B Square)

The man was identified in the press release as Colten Booe (31) of Bloomington.

According to the release, Booe was last seen in a vehicle that was driven into “rapidly-moving floodwaters” near the intersection of S. College Avenue and W. Dodds Street.

The release says that according to Booe’s 29-year-old passenger, Booe was at the wheel of the 2016 Nissan Versa south on College Avenue and attempted to drive through the floodwaters near the intersection of S. College Avenue and W. Dodds Street.

The passenger described how the car started to drift and eventually collided with an unknown object, according to the release. The passenger told police he escaped through the open passenger window and was immediately dragged under water for several seconds. The passenger was eventually able to grab tree branches and pulled himself from the flood waters, but never saw Booe or the vehicle again, according to the release.

The news release describes the search for Booe, which came in response to a missing persons report made by Booe’s brother around 7:45 on Saturday morning.

In about an hour, the Nissan Versa had been located in Switchyard Park, and a diver with the Indiana State Police was able to determine that no one was inside.

[Updated at 3:47 p.m. on June 20, 2021. A B Square reader sent in a photo of what appears to be the Nissan Versa, as it was being towed away from the place where it was found lodged in Switchyard Park. The photo was taken early Saturday afternoon on Patterson Drive, near Walnut Street, as the car was being towed out of Switchyard Park. After seeing the B Square’s news account the reader pieced together it was almost certainly the car in question.]

The following day, on Sunday, at about 8:45 a.m., the press release says that a group of family and friends who were searching for Booe located a body in a pile of flood debris about 50 yards south of County Club Drive near Clear Creek.

At the scene, Monroe County coroner Joani Shields positively identified the deceased person as Colten Booe, according to the release.

The release says an autopsy has been scheduled for Monday, June 21, to determine the cause of death.

Between 5 and 7 inches of rain fell on Bloomington on Friday night through early Saturday.

2 thoughts on “Bloomington police: Man dies in flood, was driver of car swept up in rushing waters

  1. I wonder why a search was initiated as soon as the passenger escaped the water

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