Second body found near collapsed bridge near Dallas, Texas

Friday, July 30th 2004, 6:17 am
By: News On 6

OVILLA, Texas (AP) _ A second body was found Friday several miles downstream from a washed-out Ellis County bridge, bringing the death toll to three after fierce storms dumped more than a foot of water on parts of North Texas.

The victim, a man in his 50s who had not been identified, was found in the nearby town of Red Oak, said Ovilla Police Chief Michael Moon. He said crews would keep searching the flooded creek until they determine that the body is that of a local man reported missing.

A day earlier, search crews found two vehicles and the body of Michael Miles Sawyer, 52, of Ovilla, in the flooded creek near the collapsed bridge, a main thoroughfare in the town of 3,400.

``It's been pretty devastating because we're such a small community and a close-knit community,'' Moon said. ``We lost a major bridge that goes through our town and we lost two people in our area.''

Elsewhere, people began to assess damage left by the rains that came late Wednesday and early Thursday, temporarily knocking out power to thousands and flooding hundreds of homes in Lancaster. City officials in the south Dallas suburb declared a local disaster Thursday in hopes of qualifying for federal and state aid.

In Arlington, firefighters responding to a report of a rain-related drowning found a man's body late Thursday in an industrial area. The unidentified body was recovered about 100 yards downstream from his sport utility vehicle in Rush Creek, said police Sgt. David McGinty.

He said the victim was a security guard at Peyco Industrial Park and had been reported missing when he did not show up for work Thursday night.

In Dallas, medical examiners determined that a man first thought to be electrocuted when he knocked over a utility pole Wednesday actually died from a heart attack.

Storms had moved out of North Texas but were headed toward Central Texas, where flash flood warnings were posted early Friday.