Sept. 17--A man died Sunday morning in York following a police chase that started at Route 30 and ended when his vehicle crashed into Kiwanis Lake, according to state police.
Hector Gonzalez, 31, of York, was also found in the lake, but he was ejected from the vehicle, according Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed.
Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene, Reed said. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday at Lehigh Valley Hospital, according to York County Deputy Coroner Onalee Gilbert.
Because Gonzalez's body could not be found immediately, much of Kiwanis Lake had to be drained, Reed said.
State police plan to conduct an internal investigation to make sure all of the department's polices and procedures were followed in the chase, Reed said.
After Gonzalez's body was found, it took hours for the lake's dam to be retracted, said Tom Landis, York city superintendent of recreation, parks and sanitation.
The low water levels put many of the lake's fish in danger, Landis said.
Just before 3:30 a.m., troopers from the Loganville barracks were on routine patrol when they saw a vehicle "driving erratically" on Route 30, near Pennsylvania Avenue, according to a news release.
The driver -- later identified as Gonzalez -- committed numerous traffic violations, the news release states. The troopers tried to stop the vehicle, but Gonzalez fled, the release states.
Reed said Gonzalez drove "at a high rate of speed" south on Pennsylvania Avenue, and lost control at the intersection with Parkway Boulevard.
The vehicle struck a curb at the intersection, then a tree, before landing in Kiwanis Lake, the release states. Investigators found the car, a Mercury Cougar, but Gonzalez was not inside, Reed said.
"With the impact of the crash, there was no way he could have run from the scene," Reed said. "The next logical conclusion was that he was in the water."
York officials lowered the hydraulic gate to the dam, located on the lake's east side, Landis said. A SCUBA team was on standby, just in case the water could not be drained for any reason, Reed said.
Landis said it took between 30 to 40 minutes to drain the lake.
Hours after the crash, city officials worked to reposition the dam's heavy gate to allow water to return there. But a nagging malfunction in the motor prevented it from being returned to its upright position, Landis said.
As city workers tried to find a solution, many of the lake's fish flopped around in shallow water, struggling to survive.
One large carp, at least a foot-and-a-half long, lay in the mud near the dam with its back out of the water, the sun beating down on it.
About 9:30 a.m., city workers were able to get the dam gate returned to its upright position.
Landis then called nearby York Building Products, and the company agree to discharge a large amount of water from its quarry into Willis Run -- which feeds Kiwanis Lake -- in order to jump-start the water recovery process.
"They should be commended for that," Landis said of York Building Products.
Landis believed the loss of fish at the lake was minimal.
"Carp and catfish, they're a hearty fish -- they can withstand adverse conditions," he said.
Update, 10 a.m.
Pennsylvania State Police have identified the name of the man who died as Hector Gonzalez, 31, of York.
Update, 9:49 a.m.
Public Works and firefighters have got the gate up on the dam.
Update, 9:16 a.m.
York City officials are working to repair the hydraulic gate at Kiwanis Lake in order to allow the lake water to fill back up. Meanwhile, many of the fish in the lake are struggling to survive.
A man died early this morning in York following a police chase that started at Route 30 and ended when the man's vehicle crashed near Kiwanis Lake and his body landed in the water, according to state police.
Officials recovered the body of an adult male from the lake and are still contacting next-of-kin before his name is released, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed said.
Reed said the chase began before 3 a.m. at Route 30 and Pennsylvania Avenue after a trooper saw the man driving erratically.
The man fled south on Pennsylvania Avenue at a high rate of speed, and crashed near the lake's curb and trees, Reed said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
Recovery crews then arrived and drained part of the lake in order to retrieve the man's body and further investigate, Reed said.
Copyright 2012 - York Daily Record, Pa.