published Saturday, January 21st, 2012

29-year-old Rhea County man found dead after driving into Chickamauga Lake

Staff report and WRCB-TV Channel 3
  • photo
    A water search for a missing Rhea County man ended Saturday afternoon after rescue crews found his body.
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The body of a man found Saturday afternoon has been identified as Brian Coulter, 29, from Dayton, Tenn., according to the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Jackie Melton told WRCB-TV Channel 3 that Coulter’s body was discovered around 12:45 p.m., hours after he and girlfriend somehow drove into Chickamauga Lake.

He says the man and his girlfriend escaped from their car and were swept away near the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge around 2 a.m.

The sheriff said the woman was found around 9 a.m. on the porch of the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park Visitor’s Center by the manager.

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