Weather Forecast


Interstate 35 Southbound reopened in Duluth

Aitkin man dead after driving into Grand Rapids lake


An Aitkin man is dead after the vehicle he was driving landed in a lake in Grand Rapids.

According to Grand Rapids police, neighbors were awakened around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday to the sound of a car accelerating north on Pokegama Avenue. At the “T” intersection with Crystal Lake Boulevard the vehicle went straight, landing in Crystal Lake. The female passenger, Savannah Hegdahl, 22, of Keewatin, was able to get out of the vehicle, and residents helped her to shore.

Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Heath Smith, officer Troy Scott and Coleraine police officer Pete Hussman arrived at the scene within three minutes of the call and swam out to the vehicle to try to rescue the male driver, Jacob Duffney, 24, of Aitkin, but were unsuccessful. The Grand Rapids Fire Department, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Dive Team responded to the scene, and Duffney was found in the car, deceased.

Hegdahl was taken to Grand Itasca Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash is being investigated by Grand Rapids police, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.