A Knox County man who was last seen leaving home for work Thursday night was found dead in his vehicle that had been swept from the roadway.

Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses said 74-year-old Ronnie Bryant was found inside his 2012 Nissan Murano in a pond near the junction of Ky. 779 and Ky. 11 in eastern Whitley County.

“It is where we thought he was,” Moses said noting that was along the route Bryant typically took from his home on Rapier Hollow Road, off of Mosley Branch Road in Woodbine to his job at a mining site off of east Ky. 92 outside of Williamsburg.

Moses said the water in that area would have been approximately 16 to 20 feet deep as the Cumberland River rose out of its banks.

“The car was swept off the road by the river and into the pond,” Moses said.

With the water level dropping over the past several days, emergency crews planned to use sonar Monday night to begin searching areas they had previously been unable to reach.

Moses said the vehicle was found at approximately 6 p.m. after the roof had become exposed.

Bryant’s body was recovered from the vehicle at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Woodbine Search and Rescue, Laurel County Rescue Squad, Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Kentucky State Police from Post 10 in Harland and Post 11 in London, Whitley County Emergency Management and Kentucky State Emergency Management assisted with the search and recovery.

Bryant reportedly left his home at 8:45 p.m. Thursday en route to his job as a night security guard.

“Mr. Bryant was supposed to be at work at 10 p.m.,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs, public affairs officer at Post 10 in Harlan.

Jacobs said police had previously searched along alternate routes Bryant may have used to avoid the flooded areas.

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