Trooper Greg Ingram told ABC11 that 21-year-old Anthony Thomas Fico, of Cary, was driving west on Martha's Chapel Road in northern Chatham County, when he failed to stop at a stop sign at Farrington Road and hit a guardrail.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Fico was going 60 mph in a 45 mph speed zone, forcing his silver 2012 Ford Mustang to go airborne and crash into the lake. He later drowned in the lake, unable to survive the crash.
Fico, a soldier, served two tours in Iraq with the National Guard before a shoulder injury forced him to return home a few months ago.
Flowers now mark the spot where Fico's car hit the guardrail.
The investigation continues. Officials are waiting for autopsy reports to determine whether alcohol was a factor in the crash or whether Fico was impaired somehow.