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*For Immediate Release*
Clayton County Sheriff Michael Tschirgi reports on April 5, 2017 at 1:58 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a female subject reporting a truck she was passenger in had driven into the Turkey River near the Clayton County Courthouse in Elkader, IA. Information received through the dispatch center determined the vehicle was nearly fully submerged with the driver, 86 year old George Balekos of Monona, IA, being trapped inside. Sheriff’s Deputies, Elkader Fire Department members, and Elkader EMS responded to the scene with rescue efforts by members of the Elkader Fire Department and other responding agencies allowing the safe extraction of Balekos and 54 year old Valerie Timmerman. Both subjects were transported by Elkader EMS to Central Community Hospital where Balekos was later transported by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for life-threatening injuries. Timmerman was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Elkader Police Department, IA DNR, and several local volunteers. Sheriff Tschirgi would like to acknowledge the diligent efforts and joint working relationships of all involved to safely and effectively accomplish the dangerous tasks they faced while providing the best possible outcome.
-Sheriff Michael Tschirgi