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A submerged vehicle is pulled up from the banks of the Red River on Saturday in north Fargo. Forum file photo

Moorhead 31-year-old identified as man who drove into Red River

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FARGO - A 31-year-old Moorhead man remained in intensive care late Sunday after being submerged underwater in his car after he drove it into the Red River on Saturday evening.

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Relatives confirmed the man is James Gress Jr. Authorities believe he was under water for at least 12 minutes before rescuers pulled him to the surface.

The accident happened near Broadway and Kandi Lane in north Fargo.

Gress is a nephew to Roger Gress, the executive director of the Fargo Park District.

Roger Gress declined to comment, and James Gress' immediate family did not return a message seeking comment late Sunday night.

James Gress was taken to Sanford Health medical center after he was rescued from his vehicle less than 20 minutes after the accident was reported at 5:35 p.m. Saturday.

Gress and his wife, Sarah Chatelain-Gress, delivered a baby girl at the same Sanford hospital less than three weeks ago.

Family and friends have been sending words of prayer and encouragement for Gress' recovery on his Facebook profile.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to determine how the accident happened.

Investigators are checking Gress' phone records and also determining whether alcohol or drugs might have been a factor, police Lt. Joel Vettel said.

Vettel said Sunday evening that authorities wouldn't release the name of the driver until this morning at the earliest.

Although the family of the man had been notified, Vettel cited "standard practice" that Fargo police wait 48 hours before releasing the identity of accident victims.

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