Longtime Iowa sports radio host Larry Cotlar dies in Des Moines flood

Two men sit stranded in their cars, surrounded by flood water from Fourmile Creek on the bridge at an intersection in Des Moines' east side on Sunday morning, July 1, 2018 after heavy rain fell overnight.
Caption
Two men sit stranded in their cars, surrounded by flood water from Fourmile Creek on the bridge at an intersection in Des Moines' east side on Sunday morning, July 1, 2018 after heavy rain fell overnight.

Credit: Kelsey Kremer

Credit: Kelsey Kremer

Longtime sports radio host Larry Cotlar, 66, was killed Saturday night after his van was swept away by a flash flood in Des Moines, Iowa.

Des Moines police said that he was swept out of his van, which had apparently stalled in flood water. His body was found several blocks away from the van.

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Cotlar was a local sports radio personality and broadcaster who covered the Iowa sports scene for decades.

He was named Iowa's Sportscaster of the Year in 2006.

Several people had to be rescued by boat from homes and apartments on Saturday during a significant amount of flooding Saturday night.

Six to 8 inches of rain fell in the Polk County area during a 12-hour period, CNN reports.

A few waterways remained in the major to moderate flood stage Sunday, but floodwaters have subsidized as heavy rain moves away from the area.

Flood waters spill over Four Mile Creek on Sunday, July 1, 2018 after flash flooding Saturday night in Des Moines.
Caption
Flood waters spill over Four Mile Creek on Sunday, July 1, 2018 after flash flooding Saturday night in Des Moines.

Credit: Brian Powers

Credit: Brian Powers

Andy Garman, a KCCI reporter and Cotlar's former radio co-host, told CNN that Cotlar worked in Iowa sports radio decades, covering college teams and serving as the voice of Drake University basketball.

"There just wasn't anybody who didn't like Larry Cotlar," Garman told CNN. "He touched people at all the schools."

Cotlar was a recent survivor of prostate cancer and became an advocate to get checked, KCCI reports.

“The guy was overwhelmingly positive,” Garman said. "He'd had some setbacks, dealt with cancer and any number of things, but always had a smile on his face and always was ready to attack the day.”

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