The Missoula County Sheriff's/Coroner's Office has identified the victim of yesterday's river recovery as 71-year-old Melvin Arthur Beedle.
Beedle's red car careened off a fast food parking lot late Tuesday afternoon, into the river and and quickly carried downstream. Witnesses said they saw a man in the car, but did not see him exit. A team of about 50 emergency responders collaborated to find the fully-submerged vehicle. Firefighters then braved the full and fast-moving waters of the Clark Fork River to attach a line to the car, extricate Beedle's body and remove the SUV from the river. The exact cause and manner of Beedle's death have not yet been determined.