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Dead dog found in pickup truck in icy river

| Sunday, March 1, 2015, 9:24 p.m.

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — A pickup drove onto a frozen river, spun around repeatedly, then plunged through the ice early Sunday. Police rescue teams found a dead dog but no people inside.

The driver, who owned the dog, and a passenger later turned themselves in, state police said. They were in custody and were being questioned, but police had not said whether they would face criminal charges, including for the death of the dog.

The passenger had gotten out of the truck just before the driver took it out onto the ice, police said.

A witness called Toms River police about 12:15 a.m. Sunday to report a small truck had just driven onto the frozen river in the Ocean County town. The witness said the truck drove to the center of the river and began spinning around in circles.

Responding officers saw the truck, but it disappeared into the water.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew responded, and a rescue swimmer who was lowered to the river soon spotted the truck.

State police were notified, and a rescue effort involving several agencies began.

The truck was found about 10:20 a.m. about 100 feet off Pine Beach with the dead dog, a boxer mix, inside. Crews initially couldn't see inside because the truck's windows were tinted.

Authorities said the truck was still underwater late Sunday because bad weather made it too dangerous to tow it out.

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