MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials in Pierce County, Wis. are trying to figure out what caused a teen to lose control of his car and end up in the river.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said it happened around 3:30 p.m. Sunday along County Highway A at 385th Street in Salem Township.

Officers said the car went off the road, into a ditch, then over corrected, crossed the road and overturned in the Rush River.

A passerby noticed the car in the river and called 911.

When deputies arrived they found 16-year-old Blake Flanigan of Ellsworth, Wis. inside the car.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are still investigating what caused the teen to lose control of the vehicle.

Comments (18)
  1. red says:

    How sad for this kid and his family. 16 is to young to be driving. My parents did not let me get my license til I was 18. I hated it back then but when I when got older I understood why. I appreciate that they made me wait ti I was more mature. Now that I am about to be 45 these stories of kid driving, having accidents and things like this happening just breaks my heart. RIP

    1. Whitey Fjord says:

      Just because you wern’t mature enough to drive at 16 doesn’t mean others aren’t. I got my drivers license at 16 and started flying airplanes solo shortly there after. It’s all about proper training and expereince.

      1. markH says:

        No, it’s about emotional maturity and sound judgment. If you don’t believe me or red, then perhaps you’ll believe the statistics from the National Insurance Institute-which claims that those 16-19 are 5X more likely to be involved in a fatal or non-fatal accident than any other age group. Just because YOU escaped the exploits of youthful stupidity and “motorized irrationality” does not mean that you speak for an entire demographic. Before I graduated high school (class of about 650 students) 4 of them had died in separate car accidents in which the student was operating the car at the time. I think that speaks volumes.Peace.

      2. red says:

        did I say I was not mature enough NO I DID NOT and don’t appreciate your so saying so either

        1. markH says:

          “My parents did not let me get my license til I was 18. I hated it back then but when I when got older I understood why. I appreciate that they made me wait ti I was more mature.”

          Actually, I didn’t say it red-you did. Perhaps you should just relax and recognize when others are making the exact point you are making. Remember-tackle the ball and not the man. Peace.

        2. Matt says:

          that comment alone proves that you are still immature.

  2. Matt says:

    16 is not too young to be driving. You just need more time behind the wheel which most parents do not do with their children. I got my permit 1 month after my 15th birthday and had to drive for 11 months before i got my license. I turned out fine. I didn’t kill anyone or myself.

  3. Ralph says:

    Some are ready to drive at 16 and some are not, so sad.

  4. TL the alligator says:

    NOT EVERYBODY is ready to drive at 16 ….its a maturity issue as well as a competency issue….heck there are people over 25 and 30 and even much older who because of their lack of understanding about the machinery (car) they are using and the proper way to operate it they are a danger to everybody around them……..ALL these people who crash because they “over corrected” are people who failed in their ability to control effectively the vehicle they were operating…………….i wonder if he drowned because he couldn’t get out of his seat belt…..you know, the thingy that lawmakers make a crime to not wear.

  5. John Frykman says:

    You are not allowed to drink until you are 21. Why? Because most people are not mature enough to drink responsibly before then. Some never are. There is no overriding issue that requires a 16 year old to have a drivers license when the fact is that many, many 16 year olds never reach adulthood because they started driving before they had the maturity and judgement to be behind the wheel of a potentially lethal piece of machinery. Sixteen years is old enough for some, but not old enough for most. Unfortunately you don’t find out which is which until someone gets killed.

  6. For the Uneducated says:

    “you know, the thingy that lawmakers make a crime to not wear.” How utterly stupid can one be. Apparently whatever your age you are not intelligent enough to drive.

  7. Felice says:

    Of course 16 is too young to drive. Want your kid dead- give him the keys to the car.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Please everyone. This is a family member of mine and this was a tragedy for our family. Please understand that Blake was a son, brother, friend and someone that my own children looked up to. Blake was an amazing, good-natured and very mature young man that was taken far to young in his life from us. Please embrace your family and friends at this time, and just be there for one another.

    God Bless

    1. Sandy says:

      wow, you are cold Rags……….

    2. east metro says:

      you should be incredibly ashamed of yourself. you clearly have NO heart.

  9. Ellsworth says:

    This was one of my good friends and my other friends boyfriend… I just want people to know he was one of the best friends a person could ever have and he will be greatly missed…

  10. Anna Mariee says:

    :'[ Blake .. Meant the absolute world to me! We were such good friends.. I cant believe this. :'[ When i heard about this lastnight.. I was literally gasping for air sobbing.. I love you Blake! You will be greatly misseed.. ❤ Rest in peace. :[

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