Baby critically hurt after SUV falls into Lake Minnetonka

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 19, 2013 - 7:17 AM

Three other family members were rescued, thanks to a quick response.

A 9-month-old baby was in critical condition Friday night after she became the last member of her family to be rescued from a submerged vehicle that fell through the ice on Lake Minnetonka.

Emergency crews responded about 5 p.m. to a vehicle submerged under County Road 44, which goes over the water between Priest and Halstead bays in Minnetrista along the western side of the lake.

A Minnetrista family of four -- a man, woman, 2-year-old girl and the baby -- had been in the small sport-utility vehicle when it went through the ice, said Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek.

A nearby homeowner heard a girl scream and ran down the embankment with a friend to discover the submerged vehicle and the family members trying to get to shore, Stanek said. The homeowner, who is a Mound volunteer firefighter, and his friend helped the mother and daughter get out of the water. They used a ladder to get the father off the lake.

"He went way above and beyond," Stanek said of the firefighter. "This is like having a heart attack and having a doctor standing right next to you."

Other volunteer Mound firefighters arrived and freed the baby girl from her car seat, Stanek said. She had been under the water for more than 15 minutes and wasn't breathing when she was rescued.

The baby was taken to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, where she was in "extremely critical condition," Stanek said. The rest of her family was treated for hypothermia.

Photographer Tom Wallace contributed to this report. Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

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  • Lights from a submerged vehicle under a bridge across a Lake Minnetonka channel on Friday. The car went through the ice with four people inside, including a baby.

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