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Bemidji, MN (KROC-AM News) - Authorities in northern Minnesota are reporting a Christmas Eve tragedy that occurred in the Mississippi River near Bemidji State University.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office says deputies, Bemidji Police, and Bemidji firefighters responded around 5:30 Friday evening to a report of a vehicle that had gone through the ice on Lake Bemidji. When they arrived, they found a woman who had managed to escape from the vehicle and get out of the water. A Bemidji firefighter wearing special cold water rescue gear then pulled a man out of the vehicle with assistance from deputies at the scene.

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The woman was transported to the hospital in Bemidji for treatment. The man was also rushed to the hospital after life-saving efforts were performed at the scene, but he was later transferred to a hospital in Fargo, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released.

Sheriff Ernie Beitel says the water was 8 to 10 feet deep where the deadly incident occurred. The ice was only 4 to 5 inches thick, which is far short of the amount needed to support a vehicle.

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