Man Killed after Car Plunged into River was ‘Standout Student’
Photo courtesy of North Central University.
A man who died after his car plunged into the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis has been identified as a North Central University student.
The university confirmed that Darron Luhrsen, a third-year student, died around 9:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, when his car left the roadway on West River Parkway near Second Street South. Luhrsen's vehicle broke through a security fence before going into the river.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said Minneapolis police received a call of an erratic driver on West River Parkway around 9:20 p.m. Minneapolis park police agents then saw the vehicle, a Pontiac Sunfire, go down an embankment into the river near Mill Ruins Park.
The location was near the lock and dam between the Stone Arch Bridge and the Third Avenue Bridge.
Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies found the vehicle around 11:30 p.m. about 40 feet from shore with the use of an underwater remote operated vehicle, authorities reported. The sheriff's dive team assisted in the recovery of the car and the victim located inside.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has yet to officially identify the victim.
North Central University in Minneapolis identified Luhrsen on their website Tuesday as the victim involved in the deadly crash.
"Everyone of our students contributes in no small measure to the close-knit community we create at North Central", said Michael White, V.P. of university relations, in a statement. "The loss of any student, especially in such a tragic way, wounds and affects each one of us."
White said Luhrsen was "a standout student and good friend to many at NCU. The school joins his family and loved ones in grieving at the news of this promising young student's life cut short, a true tragedy."
The school is offering counseling to its students regarding Luhrsen's death. Counselors are available by calling the NCU student success center at 612-343-5000.
Plans for a memorial service are under way, according to the school.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate.