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Man recovered from car in river ID'd as college student

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The man who died after the vehicle he was driving busted through a security fence and into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis Monday night has been identified as 26-year-old Darron Luhrsen, a third-year student at North Central University, the school confirmed Tuesday.

The Star Tribune reported rescue teams from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Minneapolis Police Department dispatched divers to the area about 9:40 p.m. after receiving reports of a car driving erratically on West River Parkway near the Stone Arch Bridge and crashing into the water.

The Pioneer Press reports that the operation switched from a "rescue" to a "recovery" effort at about 10:40 p.m., a signal from officials that the occupant or occupants in the vehicle were presumed dead.

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Darrell Huggett said a remote-controlled underwater camera confirmed that at least one person was still in the submerged vehicle at 11 p.m.

Deputies located the car -- a Pontiac Sunfire -- about 40 feet from shore and emergency crews pulled it from the river about midnight, Hennepin County Sheriff Rick Stanek said.

Stanek would not comment on whether alcohol was involved or if the vehicle was connected to reports of a hit-and-run accident in downtown Minneapolis earlier in the evening, the Star Tribune reports.

Huggett didn't believe that police were pursuing the vehicle.

According to the Star Tribune, one of the people in the crowd watching authorities pulling the vehicle from the river fell to the ground sobbing when told the driver was dead, giving the appearance that they knew the driver.

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