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updated: 6/28/2011 5:49 AM

Woman drives SUV into Algonquin pond

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An Algonquin woman has been charged with driving under the influence after emergency responders found her on the shore of a retention pond early Sunday morning -- and her SUV submerged 20 feet below the water's surface.

Kristine Alajoki, 44, most likely escaped from her 2003 Jeep Liberty through the back hatch after driving the vehicle off the south side of West Algonquin Road at the intersection of Frank Road at about 12:57 a.m. Sunday, Algonquin Police Sgt. Brett Wisnauski said.

Police said Alajoki was the only person in the vehicle when she drove over a berm and went airborne into the pond.

It took emergency crews more than four hours to pull the vehicle from the bottom of the pond near the clubhouse of the Terrace Hill Golf Course.

"It's unknown how she got out," Wisnauski said. "When the car was finally pulled out, only the back hatch was open."

Alajoki was charged with DUI, driving without insurance and improper lane use, according to police.

The Huntley Fire Protection District responded to the scene along with divers from neighboring departments to make sure no one else was in the vehicle, Wisnauski said.

Alajoki was taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin for minor injuries and later was released into police custody.