Darron Luhrsen dies after driving car into the Mississippi near Stone Arch Bridge [UPDATE]
-- Original post published August 13 at 11:57 a.m.; update at bottom --
Last night, a man driving a Pontiac Sunfire along the West River Parkway near the Stone Arch Bridge crashed through a security fence around 9:40 p.m. and ended up in the Mississippi River.
First responders tried to rescue him, but their efforts were in vain, as authorities later confirmed that a dead man was found inside the vehicle.
City police and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office sent rescue teams and divers to the area just upriver from Mill Ruins Park at about 9:40 p.m. after receiving urgent reports that a car driving erratically on West River Parkway had gone into the river and was quickly sinking...
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said an underwater camera was used to locate the car. He said he couldn't comment on whether alcohol was involved or if the incident was connected to earlier reports of a hit and run accident in downtown Minneapolis.
A large crowd of people watched rescue workers drag the car from the river and one man who appeared to know the victim fell to the ground sobbing when told that the driver was dead.
The Sunfire was found about 40 feet from the shore. His name hasn't yet been publicly released, and MPR reports that it's unclear whether there were any passengers in the car with him.
An investigation is ongoing, and we'll update this post when more information is available.
:::: UPDATE ::::
Fox 9's Paul Blume has shared some details about the victim's identity on Twitter:
Darron Luhrsen, 27yo is dead after plunging his car into Mississippi River last night. Luhrsen was a student at North Central Univ in Mpls.-- Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) August 13, 2013
North Central Univ spox describes Darron Luhrsen as a great student. Very much involved in community. Memorial service being planned.-- Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) August 13, 2013
Fence along Mississippi River has temporary patchwork where 27yo Darron Luhrsen plunged into the water Monday night. pic.twitter.com/ZekVcsQjaL-- Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) August 13, 2013
So sad to see a life cut short. 27yo Darron Luhrsen dead after car plunges into river Monday night in downtown Mpls. pic.twitter.com/UGxyxmJVEH-- Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) August 13, 2013
The chain of events that culminated in Luhrsen driving his car into the river remains unclear.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.