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Car Plunges into Devils Lake

May 14, 2003, 9:45 PM by don jorgensen

A tragic reminder that children shouldn't be left alone in a running car.

Brian Thunder of Sioux Falls is struggling with mixed emotions, weeping and heart broken over the loss of one of his sons, but thankful for the life of the other after the vehicle the two boys were in plunged into the freezing waters of Devils Lake, North Dakota.

Hunter Thunder and his three-year-old brother, Bryan, were air lifted to a hospital. Bryan died, but Hunter is a fighter.

Bryan Thunder says "Yeah, he's strong. He's a tough little boy. He is going to walk home he's going home from here."

The two boys were left in the car while their mother went into a convenience store at the Spirit Lake Casino marina yesterday. Authorities say the children apparently put the car in gear and it rolled through a fence, down a hill and plunged into the water.

Rescue crews had difficulties finding the two little boys.

Jeff Cote says, "I couldn't see anything in the car at all combined with the murky water and the shade of the car it's as black as night you just have to feel for them and basically do it by touch."

The boys were submerged in the water for 40 minutes, Hunter's body temperature was at 84 degrees. After more than an hour of CPR, he developed a heart rhythm.

Doctors say Hunter is moving his hands and feet and they're optimistic he'll make a full or near full recovery, in fact he could go home within a week.




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