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Driver Of Submerged Van Surfaces, Alive

Dolton Rescue

A van is pulled from the Little Calumet River in Dolton. (Credit: CBS)

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DOLTON, Ill. (WBBM) — Dolton Police found the man who drove a Toyota minivan carrying five passengers into the Cal-Sag Channel early Thursday.  

It turns out he was in a hospital bed all along.

Fellow passengers told police that the driver went to get help, but none could provide his legal name.  When the man dialed 911, he was connected to Harvey police, who transported him to Metro South Hospital in Blue Island, where he was admitted for observation.

Someone forgot to alert Dolton police, who were investigating the accident, and brought in a team of divers.  It took Dolton police nearly a day to track him down.

The still-unidentified motorist has since been transferred to Christ Hospital, in Oak Lawn, where he remains under observation.  Dolton police say he apparently fell asleep at the wheel, causing the 3 a.m. accident, but have decided not to press charges.

As of Friday afternoon, four of the man’s five passengers have been released from area hospitals. Police said the fifth passenger is in good condition.