Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott reflects on death of Deputy Aaron Roberts

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. We're learning more about the tragic accident that took a Greene County Sheriff's Deputy's life Friday night.

Deputy Aaron Roberts was killed when his car was swept off the road by flood water.

"When there's bad weather and lightning we receive 911 calls from landline phones that are just static. That's what it was this night. It was a phone call that was generated and it was from either a lightning strike or something like that. There was no one that was calling 911," explained Sheriff Jim Arnott.

However, officers don't know that until they check it out. That's what Roberts was doing. But he never made it. His car was swept off of a bridge in Dallas County.

Emergency responders tried to find Roberts as fast as they could.

"There's a GPS on the car. We tracked the GPS until it was disabled," said Arnott.

The water swallowed his patrol car and rolled it downstream.

Arnott said, "It took some time but as the water receded we were able to then, view the top of the car. It was impossible to be able to reach him."

The department is still trying to make sense of what happened.

"We learn from every incident. Most of them don't come out this horrific in the end," he said.

Arnott is working to make changes to prevent this from happening again.

"We definitely are looking at our training program and trying to create something regarding flooding and regarding being in a vehicle that's swept off. In this instance there's no way we'd be able to train somebody and go this road in Dallas County floods if you come this way so," he explained.

He's looking to prevent future tragedies while still struggling with the one that claimed the life of his deputy.

"We've beat ourselves up on everything we could do from response to trying to mitigate those things. They're just out of our control. That's why this is just such an accident and something that we couldn't foresee. There's a lot of good things that come with the job but there's things like this that just makes you wonder," he said.

The Highway Patrol is still investigating the incident.