Death of man found in Cheat River ruled an accident

KINGWOOD, W.Va. – Investigators have concluded a car accident led to the death of a man whose body was found earlier this year in the Cheat River.

The body of Thomas Earl Harris, 44, of Oakland, Maryland, was found in the Cheat River on May 20, near the George Washington Highway Bridge in Rowlesburg. The Preston County Sheriff’s Office and Garrett County, Maryland Sheriff’s Office launched a joint investigation to determine what happened to Harris.

The break in the case came Friday, August 12, when Harris’ vehicle was discovered over an embankment near the Cheat River. Investigators determined that Harris had crashed over the hill, then exited his vehicle and was swept away in the water.

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