One Dead After Vehicle Overturns in Beaver Dam River

Beaver Dam Fire Department/FB

Beaver Dam Fire & Rescue Department responded to an overturned SUV in the Beaver Dam River at 01:55 hours on April 2, near 227 Front Street.

Police and Fire/EMS personnel retrieved one conscious person and extricated a second person in cardiac arrest, all in 3 feet of freezing, rushing water. Both were treated and transported by police to Beaver Dam Community Hospital for hypothermia.

The passenger, Jared H. Frakes of Beaver Dam was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Fire personnel received conflicting information on the number of people in the vehicle, which was initially five, then three. A 2 year-old child was unaccounted for, and feared to have been swept downstream.

Beaver Dam Water Utilities nearly stopped the flow of the river as Beaver Dam Police investigated the location of the missing child. The only witness was uncooperative. At the same time, the fire department began to search the river and received support from Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) through Dodge County Emergency Management.

A drone strike team with infrared capabilities was also dispatched through Capital Police. Members arrived from Middleton Fire and other agencies and were briefed before searching downstream river areas. A Wisconsin National Guard helicopter with FLIR was on its way from West Bend.

At about 06:00 hours, police efforts paid off when the child was located safe in the care of relatives.