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Car pulled from Manitowoc River, deceased driver identified

Posted at 1:16 PM, Nov 05, 2022

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — UPDATE: Manitowoc Police said Wednesday the driver, and only occupant of the vehicle, was identified as Green Bay resident Eric E. Finnila, 32 years old.

At this time, police said the investigation is trying to determine what caused the vehicle to enter the river.

The bridge and recent change over to two-way traffic in this area are not contributing factors to what occurred, according to police.

The police didn't release any other information.

The 10th Street Bridge in Manitowoc was closed Saturday morning as authorities worked to retrieve a vehicle from the river. The bridge has since reopened.

Police say the car drove down the embankment into the water at about 8:00 Friday night. According to a statement from Manitowoc Police, witnesses reported seeing the vehicle stopped at a red light on Maritime Drive and, upon the light turning green, the vehicle entered the intersection, at an average speed, and started to turn Southbound onto N. 10th St.

Police said as the vehicle was turning, it hopped the curb, traveling down the embankment, and into the Manitowoc River, for an unknown reason. Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and the DNR were contacted to help locate the vehicle. Recovery efforts were stopped at around midnight due to weather and water conditions.

Recovery efforts continued Saturday morning. The Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Dive Team, along with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Dive Team, Manitowoc Fire Department, and the DNR were able to recover the vehicle. One deceased male occupant was found inside. Police have not released his name, pending notification of his family.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Manitowoc Police Department at 920-686-6500.