Updated: 11:56 a.m. Feb. 18, 2014
Posted: 2:20 p.m. Feb. 17, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A Naval Academy midshipman was found dead on campus Sunday after an auto accident.
Commander John Schofield tells WNEW reporter Cameron Thompson that the wreck could have happened anywhere between late Friday and Sunday afternoon, when the car was found in College Creek near the Nimitz Library.
Schofield says the submerged vehicle was found at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday after someone reported seeing a missing post in a chain-linked barrier that marks off the area between the road and the seawall.
He says the majority of midshipmen, staff and faculty were not on campus due to the holiday weekend.
An Anne Arundel County Fire Department Dive Team was dispatched to the scene after the automobile was discovered. A body was recovered from the water late Sunday evening.
On Tuesday, the body was identified as Midshipman First Class (senior) Max Allen, 25, of Chesterfield, Va.
“It is way too early in the investigation to rule in or out really anything,” Schofield told reporters near the scene of the crash.
“We don’t have a good idea at this time of the exact point or time of entry into the water, so although it is a main thoroughfare during the daylight hours if this accident took place in the very early morning hours, yes, one could surmise that it wouldn’t be noticed,” Schofield said.
Much of the academy grounds remain covered in snow and ice from last week’s winter storm, but the road where the accident happened was clear on Monday.
Schofield said it’s too early to say whether snow or ice was a factor in the crash. The part of the creek where the crash occurred was icy on Monday.
“The early indications right now — and again I stress that the investigation, you know, is ongoing — is that this is a motor vehicle accident, and it’s a single-car motor vehicle accident,” Schofield said.
The road between the creek and the library is usually a well-traveled thoroughfare for midshipmen, faculty and visitors, Schofield said. The water where the car crashed is about 8 to 12 feet deep, he said.
The crash is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Naval Support Activity Annapolis Police as part of the ongoing investigation.