Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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TURNERS STATION, Ky. (WDRB) - Arnold Ray Smith Jr. died as a result of blunt force trauma, according to Carroll Co. Coroner David Wilhoite.
Smith, 48, was
discovered Sunday morning in a swollen creek in what investigators initially thought was a drowning.
Trooper Bradley Arterburn with Kentucky State
Police said Smith left a friend's house between 10 and 11 p.m. Saturday and was attempting to cross a slab driveway that runs over a
creek when his three-wheel ATV overturned. Friends and relatives didn't discover Smith until Sunday morning just before 9 a.m., he
Smith was pronounced dead by Wilhoite shortly after 10 a.m.
Relatives of the man were visibly shaken and upset when
they approached a WDRB reporter. A man who identified himself only as
the man's nephew said he wants to thank members of this small community
for their support but declined to comment further.
Another woman who said she was a relative said the "whole family is upset" by what happened.
County was just one of several Kentucky counties that saw torrential
rain and storms Saturday as a line of severe thunderstorms passed
through the area. Much of the region remained under a flood watch
through Sunday afternoon. Neighbors, relatives and authorities believe
the high water may have played a role in the accident.
Authorities said the victim is the son of Arnold Ray Smith, who lost his home to a
devastating fire in early December along Gilgal Rd. The fire killed the
fiancée of Smith's grandson. The double tragedy is in part why family
members said they were too upset to be interviewed.