HUDSON — A 71-year-old woman from Washington drowned after her car went into Evergreen Lake late Friday night.
McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis identified the woman as Deena Rogers. An autopsy showed drowning as the cause of death; toxicology results are pending.
Davis said Rogers was the sole occupant of the car. The incident remains under investigation.
McLean County sheriff's police responded to an initial report shortly before 10:30 p.m. of a car driving into the lake in rural Hudson via the west boat ramp. Police said the car was found completely submerged.
Davis pronounced the woman dead about 11:25 p.m.
Before Friday, four vehicles had driven into the lake from that boat ramp since 2002, killing a total of six people. In a fifth incident, a car entered the water, but no one died.
Ropp Road (1200 East Road) used to enter the lake directly as the west boat ramp. About a month after an 83-year-old Morton woman drove into the lake there and drowned in November 2014, the county tore up sections of the pavement, erected signs and barriers and rerouted traffic from Ropp into a parking lot that connects to the boat ramp.
McLean County sheriff's deputies cordoned off the entrance to the boat ramp with yellow crime scene tape late Friday night. Agencies at the scene included the Hudson Fire and Rescue dive team, the Carlock Fire Department, Danvers police and the Illinois State Police.
A tow truck removed a small Pontiac from the scene about 1:30 a.m., and Davis and the remaining police and officials left the scene soon after.
Friday's incident also came almost three years after the body of a 37-year-old Peoria man was found in a submerged car near the lake pump house, which is across the lake from the west boat ramp. The car was discovered Dec. 21, 2015, when fishermen saw skid marks and muddy tire tracks heading into the water from 2500 North Road.