BROWN COUNTY, Texas — An Early woman, who had been reported as missing by relatives, was found dead by a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper who was investigating the source of vehicle tracks at the intersection of FM 45 and US Hwy 377. The trooper discovered the crash Saturday afternoon.

According to a preliminary crash report from DPS, while working traffic enforcement, the trooper noticed vehicle tracks at the intersection and went to investigate. The trooper found a 2002 Ford Ranger pickup truck in a ravine with the body of its driver, Elsie Virginia Ripple, 38, outside of the vehicle. 

The investigation of the crash revealed, according to the release, that Ripple was traveling northwest on FM 45, then crossed US 377, and struck an embankment, leaving a large divot.

The Ranger then continued to travel up the embankment for approximately 80 feet, then struck a fence and several trees, before traveling a short distance and dropping 47 feet into a ravine.

The pickup struck the front portion on an embankment before coming to rest on a large boulder.  According to the report, Ripple had been reported missing by family and friends for several days before the crash scene was discovered.

At the time of the release, DPS did not have a date or time for when the crash occurred.