Emerald man dies after driving into a flooded roadway!

EMERALD MAN drowns after his van became caught in Monday morning’s flood waters. Gary J. Parent, 70 of Emerald, lost his life when he attempted to drive his 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan, pictured above, across a flooded section of County Road E in Baldwin Township June 29. Authorities were alerted to the accident around 5:15 a.m. Several other vehicles were also taken by the flood waters but no other injuries were reported. —photo by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department

The rains started coming shortly after supper-time Sunday evening and by eight on Monday morning about five inches of rain had covered our area and sent local streams into flood stage.

High Water caused the death of an Emerald man, who lost control of his car after he drove into water that was flooding a roadway.

According to a press release from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office indicating that they responded to the area of Highway 63 and County Highway E for reports of a one vehicle crash on County E approximately one-tenth of a mile east of Highway 63 in Baldwin Township.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, preliminary investigation and statements from witnesses indicated a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan, driven by Gary J. Parent, age 70, of Emerald was westbound on County E. The van drove into water that was flooding the roadway, lost control and entered the north ditch.

The van then was inundated with water and was submerged becoming totally covered with water.

Parent was rescued by members of the United Fire and Rescue and transported to Western Wisconsin Health by Baldwin EMS where he was pronounced dead by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner.

United Fire and Rescue was already in this area as several other cars had also become submerged in water and rescue efforts were underway with these cars.

Washington County, Minnesota sent a dive team to St. Croix County, but they were not involved in the recovery, but did check out that vehicle and a couple of others that were in the water.

The crash remains under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office. This is the first traffic fatality in St. Croix County for 2020.

THIS SUV was caught in Monday morning’s flood waters that destroyed a portion of County Road E near US Highway 63 in Baldwin Township. Several others vehicles were also taken by the high waters in that same area including that of Emerald resident Gary J, Parent, 70, who died after his Grand Caravan became inundated with water and he was unable to escape. —photo by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department

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