DECATUR — Police say an 18-year-old Decatur woman died Tuesday night after her vehicle left the roadway and plunged into Lake Decatur on the city's south side.

Coroner Michael Day identified the woman as Tabatha D. Pratt of Decatur in a statement released Wednesday morning. Day said she was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, and she was pronounced dead at the scene after being extricated.

A post-mortem examination will determine the exact cause of death, he said.  An autopsy was scheduled for later Wednesday, and an inquest is pending. 

Lt. Jon D. Quehl said in a statement that police were called to the 1400 block of South Franklin about a vehicle in the lake at 9:32 p.m. Tuesday. An initial investigation showed that the vehicle was traveling southbound in the 1200 to 1300 block of South Main Street, approaching the bridge, when it left the east side of the road and went into the lake. 

The vehicle and Pratt were "completely submerged," Quehl said. He said it has not been determined whether alcohol was a factor in the incident. 

Members of the department's Fatal Accident Investigation Team are investigating, he said. No further information was immediately available.

In a statement, the Decatur Fire Department said its dive team went to the scene to attempt a water rescue and "every effort was made" to do so.

The vehicle was found near the dam at a depth of about 20 feet, the fire department said. 

The southbound lanes of South Main Street remained closed while Lugari's truck service removed the vehicle, the fire department said. Other responding agencies included the Decatur Ambulance Service and the Decatur Lake Patrol and city water and street departments. 

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Contact Allison Petty at (217) 421-6986. Follow her on Twitter: @allison0512


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