Update: Search suspended for man missing after SUV drove into river


Search crews Saturday suspended their attempt to find a man whose SUV plunged into the Mississippi River because of dangerous currents, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Divers had been searching the river since early Friday morning, when a Hummer with two men inside plunged into the river. Early response boats rescued one of the men, a 42-year-old from Fridley, but the other man, a 39-year-old from Ramsey, has not been found, according to the Anoka County sheriff's office.

According to KSTP, the Ramsey police chief says the water itself is much too cold for someone to survive.

The search will resume Sunday, according to the sheriff's office. The missing man is believed to be dead and still in the water, based on a search of the water's surface and shoreline, according to the Pioneer Press.

The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday, FOX 9 says, at the 6100 block of Rivlyn Avenue in Ramsey, Minnesota. The SUV was found about 175 yards from the shore, partially submerged.

According to the Pioneer Press, Ramsey Police Chief James Way calls it a deliberate act. Way tells the paper the vehicle drove off the road and around a residence before continuing into the river.

Police have said alcohol is likely a factor.

According to WCCO, the man was lying unresponsive on the SUV's roof and fell in before rescue teams could reach him. The Star Tribune spoke with a nearby homeowner, who said she and the first officers to arrive saw a man first on top of the vehicle, then in the water trying to run toward shore; he disappeared moments later.

The SUV's other occupant, a 42-year-old man from Fridley, was found inside the vehicle and rescued, KSTP reports. The station says officers described the man as "uncooperative" and offered little explanation when brought back to shore and questioned about the incident. He was treated for hypothermia.

A rash of recent incidents involving people or vehicles breaking through ice has led to warnings about ice safety.

Multiple rescues involving persons trapped on ice floes prompted the Coast Guard to issue a warning.

Earlier this week a man died after falling through thin ice on a pond in Burnsville. The Dakota County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tim Leslie said he incident should serve as a reminder that residents shouldn’t try to walk or drive on the ice at this point.

And last week, two brothers' trucks broke through the ice on a lake in Wisconsin, when one got stuck and the other tried to rescue him. Both made it out OK.

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