The Winona County Sheriff’s Department has released the names of all four victims in an early Sunday morning crash in which a vehicle broke through the ice on the Mississippi River in Winona. The driver, Christina Lee Hauser, 36, of Winona, and front passenger Matthew Patrick Erickson, 30, of Chatfield, were found Sunday afternoon, while two other passengers, Andrew Kingsbury, 29, of LaCrosse, Wis., and Blake Overland, 28, were reported as missing. As of January 6, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a third body was pulled from the river. Authorities have not identified which of the two missing men it is.
On Sunday, January 5, at 7:19 a.m. Winona County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting a vehicle accident on a stretch of road where Huff Street curves into Riverview Drive. The caller said that he was driving down Riverview Drive when he spotted tire tracks consistent with an accident involving a vehicle going over the Mississippi River dike at Riverview Drive and Huff Street.
The guardrail near the road was broken through and the ice was frozen over where the vehicle, an SUV, had gone through the ice. Responders reported seeing a tire up on the ice as well as a purse and other personal items.
Rescue teams found Hauser and Erickson inside the SUV. Both were found wearing their seat belts. They were taken to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for autopsies.
According to sheriff’s department officials, Hauser was seen leaving a local tavern with the three males at 1:20 a.m.