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DL man rescued from car in Pelican River

Thanks to a passing snowplow driver, a Detroit Lakes man was rescued after his sports utility vehicle went into the Pelican River in the Detroit Lakes Industrial Park early Thursday morning.

Michael John Anderson, 51, of Detroit Lakes was transported to Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital by ambulance. He was transfered to Sanford Health hospital in Fargo, where he was in a regular patient ward on Friday.

The 1997 Honda SUV he was driving sustained significant damage, according to Detroit Lakes Police Sgt. Chad Glander. Anderson was alone in the vehicle.

The Honda was eastbound on Eighth Street when it veered south near 11th Avenue and went into the Pelican River a few yards away.

At about 12:45 a.m. Detroit Lakes Public Works employee Jeff Leitheiser was plowing Eighth Street, saw the tracks that veered off through the snow, and then saw the vehicle.

“The car was white, but the black luggage rack caught my eye,” he said. “As I went by I could see that one window was broken out.”

Law enforcement responded quickly, he said, and when he made his next pass through the area the man was being rescued.

“It’s believed the vehicle was in the water for up to one hour,” Glander said. It’s not clear how deep the water was in the vehicle or whether Anderson was sitting in water. The Pelican River at that point in town is basically a ditch.

Drug or alcohol use is not believed to be a factor, but foul weather and poor visibility are considered factors in the accident, Glander said.

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