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5 children found in car pulled from pond

November 21, 2013 News Extra

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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — A car veered off a rain-slicked highway ramp in suburban Minneapolis early today, landing in a holding pond and trapping five children underwater until a tow truck could pull it out, authorities said.

The children’s conditions weren’t immediately known, although St. Louis Park city spokeswoman Jamie Zwilling said they were unresponsive when they were pulled from the car. The driver of the car, a 23-year-old woman, made it out on her own as the car sank. She was in stable condition.

Lt. Eric Roeske, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol, said the children — ages 1, 5, 5, 6 and 7 — were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. He said he did not have their conditions.

The woman’s relationship to the children wasn’t immediately known, Roeske said.

The crash happened about 6:16 a.m. in St. Louis Park, a western Minneapolis suburb. Roeske said the car veered off the ramp from Highway 7 to Highway 100 and plunged down a slope into the pond about 40 to 50 yards from the road.

Passersby who saw the car attempted to rescue the children, but it was in 8 to 9 feet of cold water.

The city fire department and the Hennepin County sheriff’s dive team used tow trucks to pull the sedan out of the water.

“Once the vehicle was removed from the water, we found that there were five other occupants, all children,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the car was in the water before the children were removed from it, he said.

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