Local News

Belvidere Man Drowns in Lagoon

A Belvidere amputee drowned Sunday, Aug. 3, after trying to swim to safety when his vehicle plunged into a lagoon near Ruskin.

Donavon Holtzen, 44, was driving west on U.S. 136 one-half mile east of Ruskin when his 2003 P.T. Cruiser left the road and rolled into a lagoon that sets north of the highway.

According to Nuckolls County Attorney Timothy S. Schmidt, witnesses said they saw the vehicle in the lagoon and started to flag down help on the highway. At that time they witnessed Holtzen’s escape from the vehicle and his attempt to make it to shore. Holtzen suffered from diabetes and both of his legs had been amputated.

Schmidt said he was traveling on the highway and was flagged down by the witnesses. He said there were no skid marks at the scene and that the vehicle rolled through a fence and down a slope into the lagoon.

A friend of Holtzen’s said they had been fishing earlier that morning and that Holtzen had just dropped him off at his home moments before the accident.

Both Ruskin and Deshler rescue responded to the 911 call.

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