Security employee found dead in submerged vehicle near SMUD powerhouse in El Dorado County

The death of a security service employee whose vehicle was found submerged in water near a Sacramento Municipal Utility District powerhouse in El Dorado County is under investigation.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office was contacted by security service personnel about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday regarding a distress call from one of their employees near the SMUD powerhouse on Peavine Ridge Road, east of Pollock Pines. The employee reported his vehicle was in the river at an unspecified location, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Sheriff’s deputies, Search and Rescue personnel and a California Highway Patrol helicopter responded to the area and searched for the employee and vehicle. Because of the large area involved and bad weather, the vehicle was found several hours later, at 7:41 a.m., the news release said.

The El Dorado County Dive Team located the SMUD employee, who was dead. The Sheriff's Office identified him as 33-year-old Brent Jared Cluff of Sacramento.

Jonathon Tudor, a SMUD spokesman, said Cluff was employed by G4S Secure Solutions, which is contracted by SMUD to provide security services.

The CHP is investigating the crash, the news release said, and the cause of death is pending the coroner's investigation.