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Medical Examiner: Baby Pulled From Submerged SUV Dies

Authorities Investigate If Alcohol Was Involved In Accident
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An 8-month-old Minnetrista baby has died three days after being pulled from a submerged SUV in Lake Minnetonka, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced Tuesday.

On Friday, Jonathan Markle tried driving an SUV through a channel on Lake Minnetonka between Halstead Bay and Priest Bay on Friday – but fell through the ice. Also in the vehicle was his wife Amanda, and their two daughters: 2-year-old Isabelle and 9-month-old Tabitha.

Three of the family members managed to get out of the water except for baby Tabitha, who was trapped inside for nearly 15 minutes.

Four Mound firefighters responded to the scene in cold-water gear and tried to help her. Their gear, however, kept them from going underwater. Only after they unzipped their gear — and took in the frigid water — did they successfully rescue the girl, cutting her from her car seat.

Tabitha passed away at 2:31 a.m. Monday as a result of drowning and her manner of death is an accident.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Orono Police are investigating and will be determining if alcohol was involved in the accident.

Seven vehicles have broken through thin ice on Lake Minnetonka in recent days.

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