Man killed after crashing into water at Paynes Prairie

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- A 54-year-old died Wednesday night after the Florida Highway Patrol said he veered off the road, hit a fence and crashed into the water.

Troopers said Kenneth Gotay was driving south on U.S. Highway 441 when he steered off the road for unknown reasons. He then hit a fence and drove into the Paynes Prairie swamp where the car became submerged.

"In this particular area the water is very murky, very dark," said Lt. Patrick Riordan with FHP. "Payne's Prairie is basically a floating island, so sunlight is something that, below that, is just about non-existent."

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office Dive Team responded to the scene and recovered Gotay's body.

Troopers said Gotay was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck. It's unknown if alcohol was a factor in the accident.