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Police say van's plunge into river likely suicide

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — A man found dead in a van that plunged into the Black Warrior River appeared to have committed suicide, police said.

Tuscaloosa police said the 22-year-old driver was from North Carolina but his name was being withheld Wednesday while officials sought to notify members of his family.

Investigators said the man drove from the University of Alabama campus Tuesday morning and plowed through River Road Park, crashing through the iron gate at the river’s edge and plunging into the water. A passer-by called police at 8:10 a.m. to report damage to the fence.

Divers later pulled the body from the van, which was not registered to the driver. It took several hours for wreckers to pull the van out of the water.

Investigators said there was no indication the driver tried to stop before the fatal crash into the river.

“It looks like it was intentional,” Tuscaloosa Police Lt. Steve Anderson told The Tuscaloosa News.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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