Woman who drove into canal died before crash

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office says the elderly woman in the car that went off a roadway and into a canal Monday afternoon died of natural causes before the crash.

The driver, 89-year-old Vivian Augustin, died of "atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease," which usually causes a heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular diseases.

Authorities found the body of Augustin in the car about four hours after the car went into the canal. The water was estimated to be about 25 feet deep.

The driver has been identified as 89-year-old Vivian Augustin. The exact cause of death is still unknown pending an autopsy.

Firefighters reported a vehicle veered off the I-10 Frontage Road between the Mall of Louisiana and I-10 East around 1:30 p.m.

Deputies, firemen and EMS personnel were on the scene searching for the vehicle and the driver. It took nearly four hours to get the small SUV out of the water.

Witnesses say the dark-colored Toyota Rav4 missed the last curve before driving up onto the frontage road.

Monday was Vivian Augustin's birthday.

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