Reporting Liz Collin
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman who flew from a busy interstate, plunging into a chilly Minnesota lake, is giving thanks for the person who just so happened to be driving right behind her.
Sophia Eversvik had a seizure on Thursday driving on Interstate 94 in Alexandria. Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol was driving right behind her.
Sgt. Grabow is a spokesperson for the State Patrol.
“I had just finished up a television interview,” Grabow said.
But it’s what happened right in front of him and what he did next that has him in the spotlight now.
“I noticed the vehicle going from right lane to left lane,” Grabow said.
Seconds later, that car going more than 70 miles an hour plunged into Lake Latoka in Alexandria.
“The best way I can describe it is something out of Dukes of Hazard. It just launched 15 feet into the water,” Sgt. Grabow said.
Grabow dove in to get the driver out. She wasn’t moving. He soon learned her doors were locked.
Then Trooper Chris Halder got on scene.
“It was sinking, I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get inside,” he said.
But Halder was able to break a back-door window.
Troopers say just 15 seconds after pulling Sophia Eversvik out, her car sank.
“How lucky for me. I can’t even imagine. I wouldn’t be here today if he wasn’t there,” Eversvik said.
It turns out the day of the rescue was Eversvik’s birthday. She turned 27.
Eversvik hadn’t had a seizure for two years. She’s a nurse from Florida who was home visiting family and friends in Minnesota and North Dakota.
An unforgettable birthday for everyone that day who met under an interstate bridge.
“It feels good to be a part of something positive,” Halder said.
“Timing is everything. I happen to be at the right place at the right time. Every second counts,” Sgt. Grabow said.
Eversvik will meet Sgt. Grabow this weekend to thank him for what he did.