Driver Dies After Car Plunges into Lake Michigan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A car plunged into Lake Michigan late Thursday night and fire crews work to rescue the driver.

    A 64-year-old man was killed after the car he was driving dove into Lake Michigan at Balbo Drive late Thursday night, officials said.

    Fire officials were called to the scene around 10:30 p.m. at Lake Shore Drive and Balbo, according to Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker.

    Witnesses said the station wagon was crossing Balbo when it drove over a sidewalk, down a set of stairs and into the water.

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    “There are stairs that go down and you can see the car just kind of hitting the stairs and jerking until it went into the water,” said witness Melissa Espinoza, who reported the incident.

    Dive crews were called to the scene and three divers managed to pull the driver out of the water in less than a minute, Dorneker said.

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    A 20-year-old man was arrested after allegedly smashing into several cars on the North Side before fleeing the scene.

    The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    The Medical Examiner's office identified the man as 64-year-old Steven Halpern of Chicago.

    Divers searched surrounding waters and the rest of the vehicle and determined the man, believed to be in his 60s, was the only person in the vehicle.

    It was not clear what caused the driver to plunge into the water, but officials said they were conducting a death investigation.

    Check back for more details on this developing story.

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