MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman and her young daughter are lucky to be alive after their vehicle went off the road and into a river near Menomonie, Wis.
Authorities say a woman was driving westbound on Interstate 94 around 5:39 a.m. in Dunn County when she fell asleep at the wheel.
The 21-year-old woman, later identified as Daniella L. Overett, of Elko, Minn., woke up to find her vehicle in the median, just before the Red Cedar River.
Overett’s vehicle then continued to drive into the side of the eastbound bridge, over the embankment and landed on the ice in the Red Cedar River.
The vehicle was partially submerged in the water, but Overett was able to get out with her 23-month-old daughter.
“She had to climb out the passenger side then retrieved her daughter, who was sitting in the middle of the back seat,” said Sgt. Michael Newton of the Wisconsin State Patrol. “After she got the child out, she said it took her 20 minutes to climb up the embankment through the snow and single-degree temperatures to get up to the roadway where she could flag a semi down.”
Overett was not injured in the crash. She and her daughter were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
The left lane of the highway was closed briefly while authorities removed the vehicle.