Louisiana Man Drowns Inside Car After Getting Stuck Under Overpass During Flash Flooding

A Louisiana man was found dead inside his vehicle after his car was one of many to become submerged during flash flooding in the state.

The man, 33-year-old Justin Blaine Thompson, from Gonzales, Louisiana, was discovered dead trapped inside his car at around 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday under the railroad overpass at Bluebonnet Boulevard near the Mall of Louisiana, according to a statement by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

Several cars became trapped underneath the overpass on Monday evening through to Tuesday morning, as heavy rain caused cars to become submerged as vehicles blocked others from moving.

After the floodwaters had receded on Tuesday morning, tow trucks arrived at the scene to move the vehicles, with operators discovering Thompson's dead body inside one of the cars.

East Baton Rouge Coroner Dr. Beau Clark told reporters on Tuesday that Thompson died from drowning, and confirmed that he found no signs of trauma or foul play.

The East Baton Rouge area received around 13 inches of rain overnight on Tuesday, as more than 250 people were rescued from homes and vehicles amid the flooding.

The local airport was converted into a refuge site in order to house those displaced by the severe weather, with close to 50 people staying the night there, according to The Advocate.

Several vehicles in the area were submerged during the flash floods overnight on Monday.

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux confirmed that "our deputies, along with MRT and air support have spent the day assisting stranded residents and motorists. First responders have checked and cleared submerged vehicles to ensure they are unoccupied."

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards confirmed Thompson's death at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, and revealed that four other people have died in accidents caused by the severe weather in the state that started over the weekend.

He confirmed a second death from a submerged vehicle; 40-year-old Alvarado Morentes Hermelindo became trapped inside a car that got stuck in a canal near to Port Allen, Louisiana, on Monday night.

Hermelindo's body was found on Tuesday morning, while one other person was rescued from the scene and another is still missing.

The governor said that there are ongoing investigations into the other deaths caused by the severe weather over the last few days, but declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding them.

With more heavy rainfall expected, Edwards warned residents that the ground is already saturated after days of flooding.

"Unfortunately, more rain is on the way," Edwards said. "While we hope that the worst of this rainfall is behind us, we can't be sure of that."

Newsweek has contacted the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Edwards for comment.

Louisiana flash flooding cars submerged
A truck is seen stuck on a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Grand Lake south of Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 28, 2020. Four people have died over the last few days from severe weather in Louisiana as roads flooded and cars became submerged. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images