Driver’s body found, girls recovering after escaping from submerged vehicle

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI — Rescuers recovered the body of a man whose car went into Lake Macatawa overnight.

Two young girls escaped the submerged vehicle, and, after several hours, sought help Sunday, Jan. 22, at a nearby house.

The vehicle was removed that afternoon near Lakeway Drive off of South Shore Drive.

The man is believed to be a 52-year-old Otsego resident but positive identity has not yet been made.

The circumstances leading to the incident are under investigation, Ottawa County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Westveer said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 9:05 am call about the girls who knocked at the door of a nearby house and asked for help. They said their father was driving when the vehicle went into the lake just south of Holland.

RELATED: Divers search for father after 2 girls escape vehicle that plunged into lake

They were cold, wet and traumatized, Westveer said. They were taken to a local hospital. Police believe that the vehicle went into the water around 2 am

The girls escaped through the hatchback and made it to shore. They held each other to keep warm on a porch before they went to a house and asked for help.

Some of the houses along the lake are not occupied during the winter which probably kept the girls from finding a place to seek help, police said. Westveer said it had to be a difficult night for the girls who were drenched.

The sheriff’s dive team connected chains from a tow truck to the submerged vehicle so it could be pulled out.

The man’s body was found inside the vehicle.

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