Alcohol possible factor in car's plunge from Duluth cliff; driver recovering

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Investigators say speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the Tuesday crash in which a car catapulted 60 feet off a cliff in Duluth, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Justin Lee Pfannes, 26, was listed in good condition at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, the newspaper reports Friday morning. Investigators say it appears his car went through a guardrail, over the cliff, bounced off a boulder and came to a rest just feet from Lake Superior.

Pfannes wasn't found for hours – the crash happened sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, and a nearby resident who went to investigate the broken guardrail didn't find Pfannes until about 7 a.m.

The temperature had been in the double digits below zero, and the resident who discovered Pfannes, Ken Greshowak, put his coat over the bloodied and dazed driver. Northland's Newscenter reported that Pfannes was found wearing only a T-shirt and boxers.

Rescuers eventually carried Pfannes on a stretcher up a steep snowy slope to the road.

Photos taken by Greshowak from the scene showed the car completely crumpled on the driver's side.

Greshowak told WDIO, "He actually looked at me and asked 'Am I dead?' I said, 'No, you're not, but you're missing a heck of a sunrise.'"

Next Up

protest, Daunte Wright

LIVE UPDATES: Protesters, police clash in Brooklyn Center

Tracking Monday night's clashing between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tim Gannon

Brooklyn Center recommends firing police chief and officer who shot Daunte Wright

The new acting city manager will make the decision on Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.54.21 PM

Cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright identified as Kim Potter

She is a 26-year veteran on the police force.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 6.36.53 PM

Chauvin trial: Cardiologist among witnesses as prosecution draws to close

Judge Peter Cahill also rejected the defense's motion to sequester the jury on Monday following a fatal police shooting in Brooklyn Center.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.27.03 AM

Medical examiner: Wright died of gunshot wound to the chest

The 20-year-old was killed by a police officer on Sunday, April 11.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center fires city manager following Daunte Wright killing

The mayor has taken swift action after being granted extra powers by the city council on Monday.

Brooklyn Center unrest

National Guard presence in Twin Cities to double; 25-30 arrested on Sunday

Gov. Tim Walz said it's 'devastating and heartbreaking that we're here once again' following the killing of Daunte Wright.

Tim Gannon

Brooklyn Center police chief: 'Once we got pelted, we responded in kind'

The police presence will be enhanced Monday and beyond.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 12.05.47 PM

Chief: Officer who killed Daunte Wright meant to use Taser, pulled gun by mistake

Chief Tim Gannon provided the update as Brooklyn Center PD released bodycam footage of Daunte Wright's death.

Related