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EGF Police save man from nearly submerged vehicle

East Grand Forks Police officers saved a man this weekend from drowning after his vehicle was all but submerged in water. Officers responded at 4:50 a.m. Sunday to a report of a 21-year-old whose vehicle slid off Polk County Road 19 about 4 miles...

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East Grand Forks Police officers saved a man this weekend from drowning after his vehicle was all but submerged in water.

Officers responded at 4:50 a.m. Sunday to a report of a 21-year-old whose vehicle slid off Polk County Road 19 about 4 miles east of East Grand Forks, according to a news release. The victim told police his vehicle hit a mud slick before landing in a coulee, East Grand Forks Police Det. Tony Hart said.

"About 4 miles out of town, there are these little curves, and there are coulees on each side of the road there," Hart said.

The unidentified man had been driving to work when he lost control of his vehicle, Hart said. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, the vehicle was almost submerged in water.

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"There was about a foot left of breathing room inside the vehicle," Hart said. "He was right up to the roof."

Officers Alex Schilke and Eric Burman jumped into the water to help the man escape since he couldn't break the window from the inside, Hart said. Schilke used a collapsible baton to break the window from the outside, and the two officers pulled the man to safety, according to the release.
Officer Ryan Douglas also responded to the crash.

Schilke suffered minor cut injuries to his hand, and the driver was treated at the scene. East Grand Forks Fire and Rescue, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and staff from Altru Hospital aided in the incident.

The crash is under investigation, but the release credited the three officers for saving the man's life.

"Without the fast-acting response of these officers, the outcome could have been tragic," the release stated.

Related Topics: EAST GRAND FORKS POLICE
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