Man Charged With DUI After Snowmobile Sinks

LASALLE COUNTY, Ill. (STMW) – A LaSalle County man, who police said was drunk while driving his snowmobile, was rescued early Friday morning after his snowmobile sank through the icy waters of the Fox River.

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James F. Schaefer, 35, of the 200 block of East Pleasant Street, Sheridan, was charged with operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol and operating a snowmobile on a highway without a valid driver’s license or safety certificate, LaSalle County sheriff’s deputies said.

The sheriff’s office said it received a 911 call at 1:34 a.m. Friday from Schaefer, who said he was involved in a snowmobile accident on the river near Sheridan.

Schaefer said he was hanging onto the side of the riverbank, and the snowmobile had sunk in the river.

LaSalle county deputies, Sheridan and Somonauk fire and ambulance crews, and Serena firefighters rushed to the area behind the Sheridan wastewater treatment plant to search for Schaefer. They found him on the riverbank, practically in the water, deputies said.

Schaefer refused medical treatment, deputies said.

He then was charged with driving drunk on the snowmobile and taken to the LaSalle County Jail.

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