WSU student dies when car falls through ice in Wis. - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

WSU student dies when car falls through ice in Wis.


LA CROSSE, Wis. (KTTC) -- Authorities say a Winona State University student died New Year's Day when her car fell through the ice on Swift Creek in La Crosse, Wis.

According to La Crosse police, the woman has been identified as Ellen Marie Ahmann, 21, who was currently living in Winona and attending Winona State University. She is originally from Woodbury, MN.

Sergeant Randy Rank says the incident began about 1:30 a.m. New Year's Day, when police, fire, and the La Crosse County Dive Unit were called to the area near 2nd Street, Norplex Drive, and Jackson Streets for a possible vehicle in the water.

A La Crosse municipal transit employee called for emergency services after seeing tire tracks go off the street, over an embankment and out onto the ice. The employee saw a large hole where it appeared a vehicle may have broken through, according to a police report.

Divers and underwater cameras located the car in roughly six to eight feet of water according to Sgt. Rank.

It took approximately 12 hours to bring the vehicle up from the water. The victim was found dead inside the vehicle.

Police said an autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Winona State University says Ellen, who goes by the name Ellie, enrolled at the college in fall 2010 and was a finance major.

WSU says counseling and support services are available to those affected by her death.

"As we mourn the loss of this young woman, I encourage you to reach out to those who may be suffering and come together to remember her life. The companionship and support we offer each other may help us make peace with this tremendous loss," said Patricia Rogers, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "Please keep Ellie's family and friends in your thoughts and hearts."

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