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Man in hospital after vehicle goes through river ice near Lockport

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Selkirk RCMP are 75 per cent sure that a man who drove through the river ice at the Lockport dam at 5 a.m. was alone in his vehicle.

"I’m feeling 75 per cent sure he was alone, and I’m going for 100 per cent," Const. Paul Human said this afternoon.

"The underwater recovery team has been there, and it’s too dangerous for a recovery," Human said.

Police are still interviewing the 40-year-old Selkirk man in hospital, Human said. "Alcohol is still not ruled out."

RCMP arrived at the Lockport Dam along with fire and ambulance services around 5 a.m. this morning. They say a vehicle was going southbound on the Red River at the Lockport Dam, when the driver drove into open water on the north side of the dam.

A 40-year-old man from Selkirk managed to get out of the vehicle and was found wet and cold. He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "It could have ended horribly," Human said.

"Imagine being immersed in the water, the shock of the impact," Human said. "That’s the biggest thing, what in heck were you doing out there?"

Human said it is not clear yet where the man drove onto the ice. There are fishing huts and boat launches, but they’re considerably farther north on the Red River.

He was unaware whether the man has any family in Selkirk.

Human said that the current from the dam keeps the water wide open immediately north of the dam, and beyond that the ice is thin. The current is so strong that the truck may already have been bounced and washed north, under the ice. Police are uncertain how they’ll get equipment into the area to dredge the bottom for the vehicle.

"It could be in there until spring," said Human.

History

Updated on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM CST: updates with full write-thru

4:38 PM: adds photo

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