Man who died in Lake Ida had medical-related event

Danny Haak's medical condition contributed to May 1 death.

Danny Haak

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office released new information about Danny Haak, the man who died after a water-related incident on Lake Ida Saturday, May 1.

After further investigation into the case and from autopsy results provided by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey, it is believed that Haak, 59, of Alexandria, suffered a medical-related event prior to entering the water, according to the sheriff's office.

The news release stated that the medical condition is believed to be the contributing factor of why Haak ended up in the water, and drowning is not considered to be the manner of death.


Haak, a 1979 graduate of Jefferson High School in Alexandria, worked in a machine shop in California before returning home after the passing of his father in 1981. He farmed with his brother and spent his winters in Florida. Haak moved on to work for Alexandria Extrusion where he was known for his eye for detail, according to family members.

He enjoyed fishing and liked to stay busy whether it was riding motorcycle or his “side by side,” snowmobiling or spending time with his family, according to his obituary. He will be remembered for the kind-hearted tasks he did for his friends, family, and spending time with his wife, Julie, the obituary said.

Visitation was Thursday, May 6, at Anderson Funeral Home. Visitation will continue on Friday, May 7, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home with the memorial service at 1:30 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria. Centers for Disease Control guidelines of wearing masks and social distancing will be followed.

About the incident

According to the initial release from the sheriff's office, here's what happened:

At 4:49 p.m., Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a woman frantically ringing the neighbor’s doorbell. The neighbor, who lives on Breezy Circle NW, called to report the woman's suspicious behavior he had viewed through his doorbell’s camera.

A short time later, the woman called 911 and reported that she had found her husband, Haak, in the lake and he was unresponsive.

Douglas County deputies were dispatched, along with North Memorial Ambulance, Garfield First Responders and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

While emergency units were driving to the scene, information was updated that a retired Minnesota State Trooper was on scene and was able to bring Haak to shore and start CPR.


Emergency responders continued to administer life saving techniques, however, all efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Authorities said it was unclear how Haak ended up in the water. He was located near shore and the dock he had launched his boat from, according to the sheriff's office.

Haak, who was not wearing a personal flotation device, was found approximately 30 to 40 feet from shore and in 4 to 8 feet of water on the west side of the lake between Breezy and Stony Points, according to the sheriff's office.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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