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Forum News Service, Published December 06 2013

Detroit Lakes man rescued from SUV in Pelican River

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Thanks to a passing snowplow driver, a Detroit Lakes man was rescued after his sport utility vehicle went into the Pelican River in the Detroit Lakes Industrial Park early Thursday.

Michael John Anderson, 51, was transported to Essentia St. Mary's Hospital. His condition had not been released.

The 1997 Honda SUV he was driving sustained significant damage, said Detroit Lakes police Sgt. Chad Glander.

Anderson was alone in the vehicle, which was eastbound on Eighth Street when it veered south near 11th Avenue and went into the river a few yards away.

At about 12:45 a.m., Detroit Lakes Public Works employee Jeff Leitheiser was plowing Eighth Street, saw the SUV’s tracks and then saw the vehicle.

“As I went by I could see that one window was broken out,” he said.

Law enforcement responded quickly, he said, and when he made his next pass through the area the man was being rescued.

"It's believed the vehicle was in the water for up to one hour," Glander said.

It's unclear how deep the water was in the vehicle or whether Anderson was sitting in water. Foul weather and poor visibility are considered factors in the accident, Glander said.