2 people dead after car crashes into ditch in Putnam County, becomes submerged: authorities

File photo. (WJXT)

Two people died Thursday after a car crashed into a water-filled ditch in Putnam County and became submerged, authorities said.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said early Thursday evening that units were at the scene of the single-vehicle crash at Cracker Swamp Road near State Road 207.

A news release from the Florida Highway Patrol, which is investigating the crash, notes that “Cracker Swamp Road in the area of the wreck had standing water due to inclement weather.” The crash happened on the same day that Ian crossed the Florida Peninsula, bringing flooding and winds.

“We want to encourage people to stay indoors as much as possible. Putnam County is facing unprecedented amounts of flooding which is affecting our roadways and waterways,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

According to the Highway Patrol, the car was heading east on Cracker Swamp Road east of Cracker Swamp Dirt Road around 5:40 p.m. when the driver lost control, the sedan traveled over standing water, and the car began to hydroplane onto the south grass shoulder. Troopers said the car then overturned and became submerged in a water-filled ditch.

Troopers said the two occupants, a 37-year-old San Mateo man and a 30-year-old Palatka woman, died.

The Highway Patrol said that it was not immediately known who was driving and that case remains under investigation.