MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A man is recovering at the hospital after losing control of his vehicle and driving off an embankment along the Mississippi River. It happened near West River Parkway at 26th Street in Minneapolis.
Authorities said the man had been traveling on 26th Street, when he slid on some ice through a grassy area, before sliding across the parkway and going over the barrier. They believe the incident happened around 5:30 a.m., but it wasn’t until 8:30 a.m. when some Minneapolis Public Works employees noticed the man and called for help.
Firefighters said the man managed to get out of the vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, before it became submerged in the river. His injuries appeared to be relatively minor, considering the damage that was done to the vehicle.
“He tried to get heat out of his vehicle, and then he decided to get out and try to climb the hill,” said Captain Colm Black, with the Minneapolis Fire Department. “And he couldn’t climb the hill. He made it about 25, 30 feet from his vehicle and that’s where we found him.”
The fire rescue team decided to use an airboat from the Hennepin County sheriff’s office to remove the man from the scene, determining it was too time-consuming and risky to hoist him from the riverbank considering the terrain.
The man appeared to have abrasions, but a bigger concern was the possibility of hypothermia.
First responders said the incident should serve as a reminder that motorists should have supplies like extra blankets in their vehicles in case an emergency arises in these winter temperatures. The car was removed from the river Tuesday afternoon. The Minneapolis Park Police are investigating what led up to the accident.