A 54-year-old Rochester man was jailed early Tuesday after he was charged with driving while intoxicated when he backed a bulldozer into the Mississippi River.
Winona County Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude said Patrick James Sullivan was moving sand on Dakota Island located across from the city of Dakota when the earthmover became stuck in the river about 1:30 a.m.
Ganrude said a citizen called authorities after noticing a man who appeared intoxicated walking on a Dakota street. When a deputy arrived just before 2:00 a.m. Sullivan admitted to operating the bulldozer for Ames Construction which is moving sand from the island to the I-90 Dresbach bridge construction project.
A crane had to be brought in to remove the bulldozer from the water.
Ganrude said Sullivan used a boat to make it back to the mainland.
Ganrude said Sullivan has seven previous D-W-I convictions on his record. He was cited this time with felony first degree DWI and test refusal. Sullivan refused to give a breath test at the Law Enforcement Center after he failed several sobriety field tests. Ganrude said Sullivan admitted to consuming alcohol before he reported for work but no while working.
Ames Construction is also working on the Winona Highway 43 Bridge Project which started last week.