Body recovered in canal is crash victim

April 15, 2010 6:56:15 PM PDT
Contra Costa Sheriffs announced search crews have found the body of a man missing since Sunday night after the family car plunged into a drainage canal in Walnut Creek.

The body of 79-year-old James Hogan was located in a creek east of Buchanan Field Airport in Concord just after 6 p.m. Wednesday night. An autopsy conducted Thursday morning found that Logan died of "asphyxia due to drowning."

Logan was riding in the family's Honda Accord on San Miguel Drive in Walnut Creek when the car left the road and flipped upside down in the drainage canal. Logan and his wife Janet Hogan were ejected from the car and each floated down the canal for several miles. Their son, 40-year-old Tim Hogan, was trapped and found dead inside the vehicle.

After a frantic chase by police and emergency crews, Janet Hogan was rescued by firefighter Dave Manzeck, tethered on a rope that was dangling from a helicopter. She was unconscious and had gone into cardiac arrest, but paramedics were able to revive her. Seventy-five year-old Janet Hogan is now recovering at home.

Tim Hogan, a realtor from San Diego, was driving the Honda when it went into the canal. Police do not know yet exactly what caused Logan to veer off the road so suddenly.

The Contra Costa Fire Department has released audio recordings of the 911 call and rescue effort made Sunday. The first 911 call came in from a child who said breathlessly, "Somebody fell in the creek at Safeway in downtown Walnut Creek." Later, fire personnel are heard saying "Canal patrol advising female subject who appears to be alive heading downstream almost to Treat." Treat Boulevard is near the area where Janet Hogan was pulled to safety.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the Hogan's car to crash into the canal.


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