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Impaired snowmobile operator rescued, arrested

February 14, 2011 at 11:01 AM

SHERIDAN, Ill. (AP) — LaSalle County Sheriff’s deputies say they rescued a snowmobile accident victim from the banks from the freezing Fox River, and then promptly arrested him.

Deputies tell the (Aurora) Beacon-News that 35-year-old James Schaefer of Sheridan was apparently drunk early Friday morning when he drove his snowmobile out onto the river ice, where it sank. Schaefer then called 911, saying he was hanging onto the riverbank.

Schaefer declined medical treatment after he was rescued by deputies and emergency workers from Sheridan, Somonauk and Serena.

Deputies then charged him 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. He was taken to the LaSalle County Jail.

Authorities did not say if Schaefer has an attorney.

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