Body floating in West Ashley creek after fatal wreck

Law enforcement officials watch as a Volkswagen is pulled from a tidal creek on Highway 17 south, near the Lands Inn Motel Thursday morning. A body was spotted floating in the creek by passers-by who found the stolen car.

Authorities are in West Ashley where a body has been found floating in a marshy creek.

The body of a young black male was found in a creek next to the Lands Inn at 2545 Savannah Highway, police spokesman Charles Francis said.

Police are investigating it as an accident; the vehicle left the road and was submerged, Francis said.

The man has not been identified, and additional details about the accident, such as when it happened, are not yet available.

William Gammons and Blake Raines, two Charleston landscapers, were slowed in traffic on US 17 when they looked over and saw the top of the car peaking out of the water. They pulled into the Lands Inn parking lot and called police.

“Then the body started floating in,” Gammons said.

When a police officer arrived, he ventured into the creek ankle deep and used a rake to help pull the body toward them.

One northbound lane of Savannah Highway was closed during the investigation

More than 20 police, firefighters and paramedics are on scene. When a police diver first arrived, he examined the car and told police on the shore that there appeared to be front end damage to the vehicle and its door was open.

Police first reported that the vehicle, a blue VW Beetle, was reported stolen from North Charleston. Subsequent investigation revealed its license plate was stolen from a North Charleston apartment in March.

Check back with for additional details as they become available.