(Beaver Dam) New details emerge as authorities release the name of the Beaver Dam man killed Tuesday morning after a vehicle plunged into the river off the Madison Street bridge. Jared H. Frakes was the passenger in a car that flipped upside down into the Beaver Dam River just before 2am. Four police officers were treated for hypothermia after jumping into cold, rushing water three-feet deep to rescue the driver, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The 23-year-old Frakes was pronounced dead at the hospital. The incident sparked a multi-agency search for a two-year-old child believed to be in the car. After several hours, it was learned that the child was safe with relatives the whole time.
Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says personnel at the scene received conflicting information at first on the number of people inside the vehicle. Initially, the driver told authorities there were up to five people in the car. This eventually changed to three people, the driver, the passenger rescued, and an unaccounted for two-year-old child feared swept downstream. Mannel says the only witness was being uncooperative.
Mannel’s department initiated a search of the river and ordered the flow of the river stopped at the dam; Beaver Dam Water Utilities responded and all but stopped the flow.
Beaver Dam Police initiated an investigation into the possible whereabouts of the missing child. Simultaneously, the Beaver Dam Fire Department began searching the river, and requested air assets from Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) through Dodge County Emergency Management.
A drone strike team with Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) was dispatched through the Capital Police. Members of the strike team from Middleton Fire and other agencies arrived in Beaver Dam, were briefed on the situation, and prepared to search the downstream river areas. A Wisconsin National Guard helicopter with FLIR was also en route from West Bend.
Around 6am, the child was located safe in the care of relatives. All mutual aid and BDFD units were able to stand-down and return to their respective quarters.
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