Mount Pleasant man drowns in Pere Marquette

LAKE TWP. – A fishing accident in the Pere Marquette River claimed the life of a Mount Pleasant man Monday.

Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts reported the deceased man has been identified as John Carl Olson, 76, owner of Olson Tire Service in Mount Pleasant.

According to officials with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Olson and another man were launching a boat into the river Monday. After the boat entered the water, the rapid current caused the boat to quickly drift away from the men,” Hilts said.

“They didn’t have the boat secured to their vehicle,” Hilts said. “When the boat floated away, he (Olson) went in after it.”

LCSD officials believe that when Olson entered the river to attempt to secure the boat, he stepped in a hole and his waders quickly filled with water. He then was pulled downstream.

“He stepped in a deep hole and when the water is high and fast as it is, you can’t see how deep it is,” Hilts said.

After Olson was pulled from the water, emergency responders unsuccessfully attempted to revive him. He was then transported to Spectrum Health Hospital in Reed City where he was pronounced dead.

Hilts cautions potential fishermen and anybody planning to use the river, to do so with caution.

“You have to be careful,” he said. “The water is fast and deep. You have to take every precaution.”