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UPDATE: Mississippi River search for fourth drowning victim resumes

By: Sarah Moon, AP Email
By: Sarah Moon, AP Email

WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- Winona County sheriff's officials are once again using special sonar equipment from Carver County in their search for a fourth person who is presumed drowned after an SUV plunged into the Mississippi River.

Sheriff Dave Brand said Wednesday search crews are also using a remote underwater camera operated by a Black River Falls, Wis., business in their efforts to find a 29-year-old La Crosse, Wis., man identified as Andrew Kingsbury.

KAGE reports about 100 people attended a prayer service near the search area in Winona Tuesday afternoon. The body of 28-year-old Blake Overland, of Stewartville, was recovered Monday. The bodies of the driver, 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser, and one passenger, 30-year-old Mathew Erickson, were found inside the vehicle when it was pulled from the water Sunday.

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On Tuesday, divers were unable to find the body of the fourth victim in an SUV accident in Winona, Minnesota.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said 29-year-old Andy Kingsbury hasn’t been found yet after the SUV he was in fell through the ice and into the Mississippi River on Sunday.

Dive crews have been using sonar equipment as they battle cold temperatures.

Brand said crews stopped searching for the body of 29-year-old Andy Kingsbury of La Crosse at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

“It was difficult doing an operation, but everybody came dressed as warm as they could be, and we had a heater in our tent that we could work out of and warm up out at times,” said Brand.

Brand said Sunday, an SUV hit a guardrail, went air born and plunged into the river.

Monday divers found a third body in the river, 28-year-old Blake Overland of Stewartville, Minnesota.

Divers found the bodies of the driver 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser and a passenger 30-year-old Matthew Erickson on Sunday when they pulled the SUV from the river.

“When you have somebody under water it’s pretty challenging, because you’ve got to cut through like we did here, we had to cut through to get the car, because the water had frozen over,” said Brand.

The sheriff said the water where the vehicle went in is about 15 to 20 feet deep.

He also said the water isn’t very clear.

“It makes it more difficult. We have to keep moving the sonar around so we cover every area that we can,” said Brand.

Brand said investigators don’t know what caused the crash and the Minnesota State Patrol is investigating.

Dive crews will resume searching for Kingsbury Wednesday morning.

A prayer service was held Tuesday afternoon for Andy Kingsbury and more than 100 people attended.

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WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- A search for a fourth victim presumed drowned when an SUV plunged into the Mississippi River is resuming in Winona County.

Sheriff Dave Brand says crews will drill holes in the ice and lower a camera into the river Tuesday. And, if the fourth victim is located, recovery divers will go into the icy river.

The body of a third victim, 28-year-old Blake Overland, of Stewartville, was found Monday when searchers used sonar in the area where the SUV crashed through the ice early Sunday. The bodies of the driver, 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser, and one passenger, 30-year-old Mathew Erickson, were found inside the vehicle when it was pulled from the water Sunday.

The person who is still missing and presumed drowned is identified as a 29-year-old La Crosse, Wis., man.


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