SIDE LAKE, Minn. — A rural Cook man died Sunday evening after the skid-steer tractor he was driving fell into a pond and trapped him under water.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 8 p.m. July 21 from a privately owned hunting property in the 8700 block of County Highway 5 in Morcom Township, north of Side Lake.
The Sheriff's Office on Monday identified the victim as 50-year-old Sheldon D. Sandberg.
The caller told the sheriff’s office that the tractor had been under water for nearly 30 minutes. Family members attempted to rescue Sandberg by pulling the tractor out of the pond but were unsuccessful.
When emergency crews arrived, they were able to remove the tractor, but there was no trace of Sandberg. The St. Louis County Rescue Squad used a remotely operated vehicle with a camera and sonar technology to find Sandberg's body at the bottom of the lake, about 8 feet below the surface.
It appears Sandberg had been mowing grass next to the pond and got too close to the edge, the sheriff’s office said. The tractor fell into the pond upside down, trapping him under water.
Side Lake is about 20 miles north of Hibbing.