Coroner identifes body found in wreck near Dutchtown

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton, front, arrives with responders from the coroner's office and the Cape Girardeau Fire Department Friday morning to work to free a body from a car that crashed off of Route A west of Dutchtown. (Rudi Keller)

A dead man found in an overturned car on Route A west of Dutchtown was identified Friday afternoon as Andrew G. Kohler, 57, of Langhorne, Pa., Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton said.

Kohler's 1996 Lincoln was spotted in a drainage ditch and reported by a passing motorist Friday morning. While the exact day and time of the accident is unknown, Clifton estimated at the scene that he had been dead for at least three days. He based that estimate on the the state of decomposition found when Kohler's body was examined.

"The heat is so bad it is hard to estimate a time of death," Clifton said.

The car was filled with personal belongings and Kohler's son said his father was traveling to Arizona at the time of his death, Clifton said.

"I would think he obviously got lost and got off the main road," Clifton said.

No autopsy will be performed, he added.

The overturned car was not clearly visible from the roadway. When it was removed from the ditch, it had a crushed roof over the driver's seat and emergency responders, including crews from the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, had to cut away the roof and smash windows to remove Kohler's body.

Trooper Matt Keeney of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said at the scene that the car was traveling westbound when it ran off the right side of the road, veered to the left as Kohler overcorrected and rolled several times.

"All indications are that it's been in the ditch for a while," he said.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

Route A, Dutchtown, Mo.

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