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Coroner rules man's death in Clark Fork River car crash was accidental drowning

June 18, 2014 2:08 pm  • 

MISSOULA — The Missoula County Sheriff's/Coroner's Office has ruled that a man whose car plunged into the Clark Fork River near downtown Missoula last week died from accidental drowning.

Melvin Beedle's body was recovered a day after the accident by emergency responders who mounted an extensive river-recovery effort.

Emergency responders pulled Beedle's body from the partially submerged van Wednesday around 2 p.m. near the railroad bridge in the 600 block of West Broadway. The van was pulled out of the river about an hour later.