RICHMOND, Minn. (WCCO) — Kathleen Hansmann is used to the 90-minute drive from her home in Wayzata to her son’s business in Richmond, where she helps out as bookkeeper.
But the winter weather made it risky business because of the slick pavement.
“The roads were really clear and all of a sudden I hit a patch of ice and just started swooshing around,” she laughed.
Sunday morning, Hansmann got way more excitement than she was expecting on Stearns County Road 22, south of Richmond.
“I thought I was going into Cedar Island Lake, which is a big lake and it would be deep,” she recalled.
Luckily, her car had one more swerve in it. She skidded into a shallow pond across the road.
It started to roll over, but did not go underwater. Now, after the crash, it sits crumpled and frozen stiff.
Locals refer to the stretch of road as, “one windy sun of a gun.” They even call the turn, “Dead Man’s Curve,” although Hansmann was not hurt. In fact, her first concern was for the $25 worth of bake sale cookies in the back seat.
Spotting the wreck, three men lifted Hansmann out of the ice water that was filling her upended car.
She remembers they were wearing purple.
“I think they were on their way to a Viking game,” she said. “They were my angels, yes, they sure were. I was pretty scared before they got there. So then they carried me across the ice and up the bank to the road.”
She would like to speak to them.
“I didn’t have any idea who those guys were and they were so wonderful. Yeah, I would like to thank them,” she said.
She might even share some of the bake sale cookies from St. Peter & Paul’s fundraiser. Unfortunately, the Christmas cookies that were in her back seat are a soggy mess now.
Hansmann counted 25 emergency vehicles on the scene, including sheriff’s office, fire department and medical units.
She declined the ambulance ride though, and was even back at her water aerobics class the following morning.
Hansmann said when she thought her car was going underwater she planned to stay calm, breath the trapped bubble of air inside and get the door or window open to escape. Fortunately, she didn’t have to.
WCCO-TV’s Dennis Douda Reports