Drowning over the weekend at Barren River Lake

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AUSTIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Officials with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife say it was after 11:30 p.m. on Saturday when a man drove down Ramp Road in Austin, and his truck ended up in the water.

Signs along the road warn drivers it ends in water, but it's just a few feet from where the road meets the boat ramp and then turns into Barren River Lake.

"Barren County Rescue Squad was already on scene, along with Barren County Deputies," says John Jackson, a Conservation Officer with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, describing the scene Saturday night.

Officer Jackson says the truck went about 20 yards from the ramp into the water and rescue workers had to use sonar to locate it in the lake.

"After they had done that, they sent the divers down. The first search was to look for the individual that was missing," says Jackson.

Officials have identified that missing person as 49-year-old Richard Cross from Barren County.

"The first attempt nobody was located," says Jackson.

Hours of working and another dive under the water, Jackson says, "It was 1:34 a.m. on Sunday morning when the body was recovered."

He goes on to say, "He (Cross) was about 15 feet away from the vehicle."

The Barren County Coroner pronounced Cross dead, and ruled the death an accidental drowning.

According to Jackson there was another person in the truck Saturday night.

He says, "There was also one female that survived."

Officers say she told them she was Cross' girlfriend.

"They were coming to visit some friends and from there they just misjudged and didn't realize that the road ended in water," says Jackson.

He goes on to say, "She was able to get back to shore and she went up to one of the residences up the road and made the phone call to initiate and get help."

Jackson says the truck has since been pulled from the water and the woman in the vehicle reported no injuries.

Jackson says very few people use this particular Austin Boat Ramp now that new ones have been added at various locations across the lake.

He's urging anyone going out on the water this time of year to be aware of their surroundings, especially as it starts to cool off.

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