Driver dead after his truck plunges into Polk County lake

An 86-year-old former Polk County Sheriff's Office employee has died after his pickup truck plunged into a Polk County lake Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's dive team was called to Saddle Creek Lake after the truck was seen sliding into the lake, near the Fish Hatchery Road side, about 3:45 p.m.

According to witnesses, the truck was westbound on Morgan Combee Road when it veered off the road, down an embankment and into the water.

Witnesses shouted at the driver, identified as Charles Custer, to get out of the pickup as it sank, but he was unable to get his seatbelt off.

The truck was completely submerged.

The first deputies on-scene dove into the water to try to rescue Custer, but they were unable to locate the truck, which was eventually found in 30 feet of water.

Deputies said Custer was a civilian employee with the sheriff's office from 1988 to his retirement in 1999.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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