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Bismarck police investigate report of pickup in Missouri River

Note:This story has been change from its original version to include the correct first name of Sgt. Mark Buschena.

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BISMARCK – Police here are investigating a report that a pickup drove onto the Missouri River and broke through the ice Sunday night.

Sgt. Mark Buschena said a 15-year-old girl reported that she was driving on River Road at about 8:20 p.m. when she noticed truck lights on the ice. The girl said she saw the front end of a white, full-size pickup go into the water and then the back end.

She didn’t notice anyone inside the vehicle, Buschena said.

Officers responded to the scene at 8:29 p.m. The girl pointed out tire tracks leading from a parking lot near the Lewis and Clark Riverboat dock by the Interstate 94 bridge to an opening in the ice, Buschena said.

The girl told police that when the truck went onto the ice, she noticed a maroon, four-door car – possibly a Dodge Dynasty – speed away from the parking lot, Buschena said.

The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department’s dive team was called to the scene but decided not to conduct a search because of dangerously low temperatures and high winds and because it wasn’t known if someone was in the pickup, Buschena said.  

Bismarck police hadn’t received any stolen vehicle reports matching the pickup’s description, he, adding investigators were checking with other jurisdictions.

Police will leave it up to the dive team to determine when it’s safe to search, he said.

“It's a not a rescue at this point. It would be more of a recovery,” he said.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.