Victims who died in submerged car identified

1:23 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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WAYZATA, Minn. - Two family members from Maple Grove who were pulled from a submerged car Saturday in Lake Minnetonka have died.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office released a statement Sunday that the victims, 31-year-old Harland Dietrich and 87-year-old Mary Ann Haram, died from drowning. The Sheriff's Office said they believe the two were underwater for almost an hour.

"I can't stop thinking about those people and their families," says Jodi Hotvet who live nearby.  "People need to know that you can't drive through the channels."

Hennepin County Dispatch received a call from Dietrich around 2:25 p.m Saturday. He said his car had fallen through the ice under the County Highway 101 bridge and that his car was sinking.

When emergency crews arrived, the car was completely submerged in about 10 feet of water. The Hennepin County Dive Team began working to rescue the two occupants.

Dietrich was pulled out of the car first and transported by air to Hennepin County Medical Center. Haram was rescued soon after and transported to the same hospital by ambulance.

Officials said this is the 14th vehicle through the ice on Lake Minnetonka this season and the second and third fatality.

"Of the 14, 12 of those have been cars passing under channels," says Sheriff Rich Stanek.  "When you venture out you have to be aware of the conditions around you."

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