Man treated for hypothermia after driving into lake

December 29, 2018

A Mason County man has been hospitalized and treated for hypothermia after driving his SUV into Hamlin Lake, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

Cole said the man was found near the vehicle and appeared to be in a “confused” state.

“An elderly gentleman was found sitting on a bench. He appeared confused by the events … He was more than 90 years old,” Cole said. “He was transported to the hospital by EMS and treated for hypothermia.”

Police believe the incident occurred late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. The sheriff’s department, Hamlin Fire Department and Life EMS responded to a report of a partially submerged vehicle on fire at 9:25 a.m. Wednesday.

Two hikers walking on the trails of the Ludington State Park saw the SUV burning in the lake and contacted emergency responders.

“The call was that there was a car partially submerged by the boat lunch within Ludington State Park, and that the car had burned,” Cole said. “When deputies had gotten there, the car had totally burned.”

The car was no longer burning when responders arrived, according to Cole.

“The evidence suggested that, by the boat launch, he became confused and started driving on paved trails and drove into the river … he went into the water backwards.”

Cole said the vehicle caught fire after landing in the lake, adding that responders suspect the fire was ignited when pressure was applied to the gas pedal in an effort to get the car back out.

Read the full story in Friday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Edition.

Update hourly