Man dies, two escape after SUV found submerged in river

The driver has been arrested for criminal vehicular operation.
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Diving rescue

A man has died after an SUV crashed into the Kettle River in northeastern Minnesota on Monday afternoon.

Responders were called to the scene near Willow River, located along I-35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth, at 3:48 p.m. on Monday, with the caller reporting a vehicle in the water with people still inside.

When police arrived, they found a driver and passenger had been able to get out of the vehicle after it went into the river, but one passenger was still unaccounted for.

He was still believed to be in the vehicle, and a dive scene from the Stacy/Lent Fire Department was able to locate the Ford Escape submerged in about 14 feet of water.

The passenger, a 47-year-old man, was located inside at about 6 p.m., and pronounced dead at the scene.

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The driver, a 43-year-old man, was arrested at the scene for criminal vehicular operation. He and the other passenger – a 48-year-old man – did not require hospital treatment.

The vehicle was later recovered from the water.

The case has been forwarded to local prosecutors for possible charges against the driver. 

All three men involved were from the Pine County area. None of them have been identified.

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