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North Canton police: Alcohol believed to be factor in car submerged in Arrowhead Golf Course pond; driver charged

Vanessa Malinowski has been charged with failure to control and reckless operation on private property, both misdemeanors.

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — The North Canton Police Department has announced that it has completed its investigation into the incident involving a vehicle found fully submerged in a small pond at Arrowhead Golf Course last Friday following a crash.

Police identified 38-year-old Vanessa Malinowski as the driver of the 2015 Chrysler minivan that was found fully submerged in the pond. She has been charged with failure to control and reckless operation on private property, both misdemeanors. Alcohol is suspected to have been a contributing factor. 

The minivan vehicle entered the golf course, which is located at 1500 Rogwin Circle SW in North Canton, after leaving the roadway at Fair Oaks Ave SW and Rose Lane St. SW traveling southbound through backyards and then westbound down the 8th hole fairway. 

Police say that eventually Malinowski looped back eastbound and entered the pond behind the clubhouse. 

Officers responded to the scene around 1:34 a.m. after a woman was reportedly knocking on doors asking for help in the area of Lorena Street SW.

“Officers responded to the area and spoke with the female who advised that she was in a motor vehicle that had crashed into a body of water,” authorities said in a press release. “She was unclear on where or how the crash occurred. She advised officers that she swam from the vehicle and ran to nearby houses to get help.”

RELATED: Dive team finds submerged vehicle in Arrowhead Golf Course pond in North Canton after early morning crash

Officers were able to ping the woman’s cell phone and narrowed their search to the area of the Arrowhead Golf Course, which is where “they found fresh tire tracks leading into a small pond.”

The North Canton Fire Department was called to the scene at 3:37 a.m. to assist in the search. The vehicle was found fully submerged in the pond at 4 a.m.

“The South Summit County Dive Team was contacted to search the pond for other potential occupants,” authorities explained. “A deputy from the Stark County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene and utilized a drone to check the surrounding area. No persons were found by the drone.”

Dive team members from Coventry, New Franklin, Green and Lakemore searched the pond using sonar equipment.

“The entire pond was searched, including the vehicle, finding no other persons,” police said. “Upon first light, a complete search of the surrounding area was also conducted with no other persons found.”

Initial reports lead officers to believe there might have been a possible male driver, but those claims were not able to be substantiated. No one was injured during the crash and subsequent recovery process. 

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