GROVE — Three men died after a vehicle careened 60 feet down the slick rocky side of a Grand Lake bluff and plunged into frigid lake waters, authorities said Friday.
The body of Michael John McKinney, 24, of Brookings, Ore, was pulled from the water about 5 p.m. Friday.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Eric Gibe didn't identify the victim other than “a young male.”
Gibe said there were two other men in the submerged grayish-silver colored SUV-type vehicle.
Recovery efforts will resume Saturday at daybreak.
Authorities think the driver failed to navigate a curve on South 630 Road in an area known as Blue Bluff and the vehicle plummeted into 50 feet of water.
“A front wheel was recovered,” Gibe said referring to debris found on the shoreline.
Gibe said the exact time of the accident is unknown, authorities suspect the accident happened in the middle of the night.
Natalie Saggert, assistant manager of Lee's Resort, was on her way to work between 7:30 and 8 a.m. when she noticed the guardrail had been hit.
The nagging image of the bent guardrail prompted her to call Grove police 9:15 a.m. about what she saw.
“The road wasn't slick,” Saggert said. “I just think they didn't realize the curve was there. There were no skid marks.”
The vehicle went about 60 feet before hitting the edge of the bluff, Delaware County Sheriff's detective Brandon Houston said.
Grand River Dam Authority used a three-man dive team and sonar equipment to locate the vehicle.
A chrome piece that was part of a headlight was seen lying on the lip of the cliff, according to a man who declined to give his name and arrived at the scene after learning of the accident.
The man also said the vehicle sheared off two trees on the bluff — one a 12-inch diameter evergreen tree.