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Man from TBI ‘Silver Alert’ pronounced deceased after car found in creek Thursday afternoon

One man is deceased after apparently crashing his car off of Interstate-24 into Bradley Creek near the 120 mile marker in Coffee County, authorities tell Thunder Radio news.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a “Silver Alert” alert on Tuesday, Jan. 18 for Donald Alvarez who was last known to be in the Coffee County area traveling in a maroon Cadillac ATS.

At approximately 4 p.m. Thursday, January 20, a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter spotted what appeared to be a maroon bumper near the 120 mile marker on Interstate 24 in Coffee County. Ground units arrived on the scene and discovered a vehicle matching the description of Alvarez’s car upside down in the creek.

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According to Coffee County Sheriff Chad Partin, once the vehicle was removed from the creek Alvarez’s body was discovered inside. He was pronounced deceased on the scene.

“Our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to this family,” said Partin, who said family from as far away as New York had descended on Coffee County to help look for Alvarez.

“I really want to commend Investigator (Brandon) Gullett for his due diligence and staying persistent on the case,” added Partin. “We were afraid of this type of outcome, but at least the family knows and is able to have some closure.”

Partin explained that the family lost contact with Alvarez around January 15. He said that Investigator Gullett began tracking electronic information through phone services and OnStar and “worked diligently with THP and TBI.”

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Partin explained that it appeared that Alvarez drove straight into the center median, got airborne and landed in the creek upside down.

“I’m sure with all the rain we have had, the current is rapid … it looks like the current shoved the vehicle under the bridge. We have not been able to see that while driving and looking.”

The Interstate was shut down for approximately 5 hours while crews worked to remove the vehicle from the creek.

Coffee County Rescue Squad divers arrived on the scene to aid in removing the vehicle.

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“We are very appreciative of the rescue squad,” said Partin. “It is in the 20s outside, extremely cold, the water is hazardous. It was not an easy task.”

Partin said that Alvarez resided in Marietta, Ga. but had family in Illinois, Virginia and New York. He believed he was traveling back from a trip to Illinois. Partin said that CCSD Captain Billy Butler and Gullett were with the family Thursday evening.

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