A Metropolitan Utilities District crew, working near 72nd Street and the Douglas-Washington County line on Sunday morning, happened upon a fatal crash from the night before.
29-year-old Adam M. Bortle of Omaha was found dead near a maroon 2000 Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep had crashed into a ditch and landed on its top in a small creek bed, Douglas County Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Jones said.
The crash, reported shortly after 7 a.m., is believed to have happened after 11 p.m. Saturday.
Bortle was either thrown from the Jeep or crawled out of it, Jones said. It was unclear if Bortle died of injuries from the crash or exposure, the lieutenant said. The overnight temperature dropped into the single digits. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
Two dogs also had been in the vehicle, and both survived.
A Rottweiler remained pinned in the Jeep when rescuers arrived. Members of the Irvington Volunteer Fire Department freed the dog, which apparently was not injured.
A mixed-breed dog managed to run away and was found at a nearby house. It suffered a leg injury, Jones said.
Both dogs were turned over to the Nebraska Humane Society.
No one witnessed the crash, and the wreck was not visible from the roadway. The Jeep might have a crash data recorder that could determine the time of the crash and other information. Investigators will be looking into that, Jones said.
An initial investigation showed no immediate signs of alcohol or drug use, but speed did appear to be a factor in the crash, Jones said. Bortle was not believed to have been using a seat belt.