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Forum staff reports, Published July 02 2013

Investigation finds woman’s son was driver of truck that went into river west of Wahpeton

WAHPETON, N.D. – Authorities here found the driver of a pickup that went into the Wild Rice River about 3 miles west of Wahpeton on Monday was the truck owner’s teen son.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Office initially believed the owner of the truck, 36-year-old Grace Birchem-Mangalaw, had escaped injury from the accident, which was reported about 6 p.m. Monday.

A report released Tuesday by the sheriff’s office said Birchem-Mangalaw was able to get out of her vehicle and get to safety before the vehicle went underwater and deputies arrived.

On Tuesday evening, the sheriff’s office released a statement that said Mangalaw’s 16-year-old son, Francis Mangalaw , admitted to being the driver of the 1993 Ford F-150.

He was cited for care required.

The Richland County Water rescue team, the Dwight Fire Department, and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department assisted at the scene.