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Bodies found in James River after garbage truck crash

A member of the Beadle County Search & Rescue Dive Team walks back to the trailer while other officials watch the search efforts Saturday on the James River. (Luke Hagen / Republic)

LETCHER -- The bodies of two men who went missing with a garbage truck Thursday afternoon were found in the James River northeast of Letcher on Sunday.

The men, whose names are not being released pending the notification of family members, died Thursday in a crash in Sanborn County that investigators believe may have involved an equipment failure.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, the 2000 Mack Truck CH600 was northbound on Highway 37 near the bridge over the river when it went off the right side of the roadway and through a guardrail and vaulted over an embankment before landing in the river.

The truck was recovered in a search on Saturday, and the bodies of the 61- and 46-year-old men from Miner County were found Sunday in a search authorities said was made more difficult by the amount of flooding in the River.

The search and recovery involved sheriff’s offices from Sanborn and Miner counties; the Beadle County Dive Team; the South Dakota Highway Patrol; the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department; the South Dakota Department of Transportation and Lincoln Auto Towing of Huron.

Authorities have asked that the public stay away from the recovery area.

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