Police said Tuesday that a motorist who died in a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 50 near Lebanon hit the guard rail three times before landing upside-down in water.
Joseph Rewerts, 33, of Belleville, lost control of his 2001 Dodge Dakota at about 6:50 a.m. Sunday morning near Lebanon.
“He hit the guard rail on the right side of the road about four miles east of Rieder Road,” State Police spokesman Calvin Dye Jr. said. “He then hit it again about 100 yards down the road, the length of a football field.”
Rewerts struck the guard rail a third time and then hit riprap at the edge of the road with the front of his truck, causing it to flip and land on its roof in water.
St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He believes the cause of death is likely to be blunt-force trauma.
Stone said toxicology tests were pending.
Dye said Tuesday the cause of the accident was still under investigation.
The crash closed U.S. 50 in both directions for several hours, according to Lebanon Police Chief Dave Roth.