The name of the second victim of Sunday's river crash, as well as the two men still missing, was released Monday as the Winona County Sheriff's Department continued searching the Mississippi for the two men believed to have been in the vehicle.
Mathew Patrick Erickson, 30, of Chatfield was identified as the passenger in the SUV that crashed into the river early Sunday morning after the driver failed to make the turn on Riverview Drive near Second and Huff streets. Both Erickson and the driver, Christina Lee Hauser, 36, of Winona were found seatbelted into the vehicle when responders pulled it from the river around noon on Sunday.
The names of the two missing men are Blake Overland of Stewartville, Minn., and Andrew Kingsbury of La Crosse, said Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand. Brand did not say whether they are presumed dead, and declined to describe whether the search has turned into a recovery effort. Authorities have located the mens' vehicles but have no information that they may have been anywhere but in the car when it went into the river.
The Winona County Dive Rescue and SOAR teams waited Monday for robotic equipment from the Carver County Sheriff's Department in order to search the river for the two men, who were with Hauser and Erickson when they left a Winona bar about 1:20 a.m. Sunday.
Brand said the car has been taken to a nearby heated garage for an investigation. The bodies were taken to Rochester for autopsies.
This isn’t the first time a car has gone into the river in the same area of Riverview Drive.
Saint Mary’s University students Anne Locher, Mary Clare Karnick and Susan Wall, and graduates Jason Collins and Timothy Stapleton drowned March 1, 1997, after Stapleton’s SUV was speeding north along the drizzle-covered Huff Street, missed the same curve onto Riverview Drive and plunged into the river, according to reports at the time. Toxicology results showed alcohol might have played a role in that crash.
And it's the second river-related death in just a week. Ellie Ahmann, a 21-year-old Winona State University student, died after her car went over an embankment south of downtown La Crosse, than crashed through thin ice on Isle La Plume Slough.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as new details are released.