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Last updated on Wednesday, May 16, 2012
(WASHINGTON) - The search for Larry Worland, of Bruceville, is over.
Divers found Worland's body today. 28-year-old Worland, has been missing since Saturday night after he crashed his ATV into the West Fork of White River.
The accident occurred May 12 on River Road. Worland's ATV plunged more than 20 feet into the White River.
The Daviess Co. Sheriff's Dept. and Indiana Conservation Officers searched tirelessly for Worland's body, and found it near the point the 4-wheeler's entry into the river.
As search boats patrolled the banks, a local residence about a half mile downstream from the accident site discovered the body lodged under a boat dock and called to one of the search craft.
Worland and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany Darrow, and a group of friends were riding 4-wheelers, with Worland and Darrow being the last in line when the accident occurred.
It's unclear exactly what happened, according to officials, but a member of the group riding with the couple said they believe Worland saw their headlights off to the left and thought there was an open field. In reality, there was a bend in the river. They believe he drove off the path thinking he'd cut through the grass and catch up with the group, but instead drove off the riverbank.
Worland, who could not swim, was aided by Darrow as the river carried the two downstream. Due to the high water and strong current in that area, Darrow was not able to maintain her hold on Worland and he slipped below the surface. Darrow continued to look for Worland, but couldn't find him.
She swam to shore and received only scrapes to her knees from climbing up the rip rap, according to her father. She reached the bank and then ran for help.
Searchers combed the banks hoping to find Worland clinging to something, but he was not located. Early Sunday morning the search and rescue effort became a recovery effort, with searchers out from 7 a.m. to dusk.
The river worked against divers, who couldn't see in its murky depths and had to search by feel, working in grids. The sonar helped hone in on potential places for the divers to search.
According to Deputy Troy Fuhs, the current was strong and the divers found all sorts of obstructions. The area they searched was about 12-16 feet deep, he said, and littered with obstructions.
"We found a refrigerator and a car," he said. "There's all kinds of stuff there."
An autopsy will be completed at a later date; and the investigation continues to determine why the accident happened.
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