Merced County sheriff’s deputies say the death of a Fowler truck driver, whose body was found in the Delta-Mendota canal near Santa Nella over the weekend, was likely accidental.
Authorities are still working to determine how and why Satwant Singh Bains, 54, ended up in the canal.
Still, Undersheriff Jason Goins said there are no indications of foul play. Bains was reported missing near Los Banos last week and the big rig he was driving was discovered on Interstate 5 on May 15, partially blocking the northbound lane.
“We do not believe this is a homicide investigation. It appears accidental, “ Goins said.
Authorities believe Bains was by himself when he exited the truck, located last Wednesday by California Highway Patrol officers on the freeway near Whitworth Road, northwest of Los Banos.
Initial reports from the Merced County Coroner’s Office indicate drowning as a possible cause of death, according to Goins. The Coroner’s Office is still waiting on the results of toxicology tests.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office took over Bains’ death investigation from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and CHP will assist.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center at 209-385-7444.