OSCODA – The Oscoda Township Police Department (OTPD) is continuing to investigate the death of Joseph Theodore Sand, 82, Davison, after his vehicle was found submerged in the AuSable River on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 13. 

According to OTPD Detective Sergeant Erik McNichol, Sand drove up to Oscoda that morning from Davison with a passenger. The duo pulled over to switch drivers near the boat launch on the AuSable River, just below Cooke Dam. The passenger got out of the vehicle to smoke a cigarette and, while Sand was in the driver seat at the time, the vehicle began approaching the AuSable River.

According to McNichol, the reason is unknown, but he said there were no signs of foul play. He also noted that the results of the autopsy were still pending. Additionally, no one else was injured. 

According to McNichol, the passenger attempted to call 911, but was unsuccessful, so they ran to a nearby house for help. The resident made the call and emergency personnel arrived on scene. 

The vehicle was underwater when emergency personnel arrived. Officers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the OTPD extracted Sand from the vehicle before other emergency personnel arrived. While the victim appeared to be deceased upon extraction, resuscitation efforts were still attempted; however, he ultimately ended up passing away.  

The vehicle was removed by a local wrecker company and the Oscoda Township Underwater Rescue & Recovery Team. Emergency personnel that responded included, DNR, OTPD, Oscoda Township Fire Department, Underwater Rescue Recovery Team, Michigan State Police and Iosco County EMS. Emergency personnel were on scene for approximately two hours.

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