JEFFERSON COUNTY – Jefferson County Coroner Roger Hayse released the identity of a man who died Dec. 19 in a rural Belle Rive pond as a 66-year-old Bonnie man.
According to Hayse, James Likens was as a custodian and bus driver at the Opdyke-Belle Rive grade school, adding a Tuesday autopsy showed Likens died as a result of asphyxiation due to drowning.
Likens and school Superintendent Mike Miller were reportedly fishing when their canoe capsized.
Miller was able to swim to shore while Likens never surfaced. Divers later found him on the bottom of the pond after conducting a sonar search.
Multiple rescue resources and divers were called to the scene to first try, and rescue Likens and later to recover his body.
Miller was checked at the scene but declined hospital treatment.