LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU)-- The La Crosse County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death of 21-year-old Ellen Ahmann as accidental.
The medical examiner says Ahmann died of cold water drowning with alcohol as a contributing factor. Her B.A.C was 0.165, more than twice the legal limit for driving.
Officers say sometime after 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, Ahmann's vehicle plunged down an embankment and broke through the ice on a La Crosse creek. Divers recovered her body from her vehicle, which was submerged in 6 to 8 feet of water on Swift Creek, early New Year's Day. A bus driver called dispatchers about 1:30 a.m. when he noticed tire tracks leaving the street and heading over the 40-foot embankment.
Ahmann was a student at Winona State University and was from Woodbury, Minnesota. A spokesperson from Winona State University says Ahmann enrolled at WSU in fall 2010 and was a finance major.