Scotts Bluff County authorities have released more information regarding the early Monday morning death of a 59-year-old woman following an auto accident that left her vehicle in a deep ravine about 3 miles east of Lyman.
On Tuesday afternoon, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman announced that the woman has been identified as Cynthia Magee. He says the autopsy took place this morning, and the pathologist determined that Magee did not suffer any significant injuries from her vehicle running off of the roadway and into the ravine/wetland area.
The vehicle itself did not incur any significant damage. There is no indication of foul play.
Overman says it appears that this was most likely an accidental death, but a final determination is pending toxicology results.
Deputies first received a report around 9 a.m. Monday that Magee had been missing since leaving work in Morrill around 10:30 Sunday night.
Overman says deputies were searching for hours, with investigators eventually learning the woman did send a text to a roommate in the early hours of Monday in which she said she had wrecked her car and was in a swamp. The roommate was asleep and didn’t see the message immediately, according to Overman, and said she called law enforcement to see if any accidents had been reported and there were none.
Overman says all cell phone activity ended shortly after 3 a.m., but during the investigation officers were able to get a general location to search from cellular service providers, and then asked for assistance from Airlink.
“It did not take them long to find this vehicle that’s in a drain, and it’s absolutely not visible from the road. I mean, we’re standing on the side of the road probably within a hundred feet of the vehicle, and we can’t see it,” said Overman. “Without that aircraft, it would have been a while before anybody found this vehicle.”
Overman says the accident just west of the intersection of East Lyman Road and County Road 6 apparently took place before snow fell overnight, as there were no tire tracks visible for Deputies and National Park Service Rangers to see.
The Nebraska State Patrol, Lyman Fire, and Goshen County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.