2 bodies recovered from car in river in Winona; 2 others feared dead


Two bodies have been recovered from a car that apparently plunged into the Mississippi River in downtown Winona early Sunday morning. Two others are feared dead, the Winona Daily News reports.

The Daily News reported that Winona County Sheriff's officers used a camera to locate the vehicle that was submerged under water. WCCO reported that the Winona County Dive Rescue Team and LaCrosse County Dive Team were on scene and were able to pull the vehicle out of the river.

Two bodies were found in the car, one male and one female, both had been wearing seat belt. Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said the airbags in the car had been deployed.

The woman was identified as 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser, of Winona, the Star Tribune reports. The 30-year-old man was not immediately identified, the newspaper reports. Autopsies are planned in Rochester.

The car was licensed in Hauser's name. Investigators said she left a tavern at 1:30 a.m., accompanied by three men.

Investigators did not have details about the whereabouts of the two other men, who reportedly left the Winona bar in the vehicle with Hauser and the 30-year-old man.

At around 7:20 a.m. Sunday, the Sheriff's Office got a call reporting tire tracks on the dike at Riverview Drive, heading toward the river. At the scene, responders found a license plate, purse and other debris on the shore. They also noted a broken guard rail.

Brand said the car and its contents were being taken to a heated garage for a full investigation.

On New Year's Eve, Winona State University student Ellen Marie Ahmann, 21, of Woodbury died an automobile accident near La Crosse, Wis. Her car apparently fell over an embankment and fell through the ice in a creek. Ahmann drowned after the car fell into 6 to 8 feet of water.

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