File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Office | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner

The coroner has released the identity of a 79-year-old man who was found dead inside a partially submerged pickup truck after he drove into the Des Plaines River near Gurnee.

An autopsy performed Friday showed Antoine Pierre, 79, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, died as a result of blunt force injuries, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Gurnee Fire Department responded around 7:30 p.m. Thursday to a residence in the 36500 block of North Route 41 in unincorporated Gurnee for a report of a water rescue.

A 911 caller reported a pickup truck was found submerged in the Des Plaines River behind the home, which is located near Route 41 and Stearns School Road.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located the vehicle partially submerged with Pierre, who was the driver, deceased, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

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A preliminary investigation shows the homeowner arrived home and located tire tracks in his yard.

He followed the tire tracks, which led to the river where he located a 2016 Toyota Tacoma, Covelli said.

Sheriff’s crash investigators are working to determine the approximate time of the crash and what caused it.

Sheriff’s telecommunicators ran the license plate of the Toyota and determined it fled from a local police department around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday approximately a mile and a half away, Covelli said.

Dispatchers also determined the vehicle was called in as a wrong-way driver around 3:40 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Route 173 and Kilbourne Road.

The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team.