MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The last place you would want to be in weather like this? Outdoors — while sinking into icy water.
But that is just how the driver of an SUV started her Tuesday.
Ann Lund’s windows apparently fogged up before she veered off a ramp and plunged into a holding pond in Bloomington.
The incident happened at about 8:20 a.m. at the height of rush hour, as the 23-year-old Minnetonka woman was driving her Chevrolet Suburban on the ramp from southbound Highway 169 to eastbound Interstate 494.
MnDOT cameras show several good Samaritans pulling over and rushing to help. One of them was Ken McNamara, who spoke to WCCO by phone.
“I knew she was heading towards the pond, so I started pulling over and calling 911,” McNamara said.
He says the young woman crawled to the back of the SUV and grabbed an object that turned out to be a fire extinguisher.
“She started banging on the rear window,” McNamara said.
As she smashed the back window, one of the good Samaritans grabbed a wooden pallet. McNamara and a truck driver put it down to reach the sinking vehicle, telling the woman they would get her out.
“I said ‘close your eyes’ because [of] a lot of glass, and we pushed the rest of the glass out of the way and we pulled her out of the vehicle,” McNamara said.
He says the woman appeared to be in shock. She was able to walk up to an ambulance to warm up. Her clothes were soaking wet, and she had some minor cuts.
The state patrol offered praise for those who helped.
“They’re fantastic,” Lt. Robert Zak said. “Good Samaritans willing to get involved, to take action to help somebody in need.”
But McNamara insists he and the others are not heroes.
“I just did what anybody else would’ve done, you know, you see a car in the water and there’s somebody in there,” McNamara said.
The state patrol says if your car ever goes under water, you can escape through an open window. But if you do not have time to roll down the window, make sure you have something in the car — like a hammer or tool — that can be used to break glass.
The state patrol says speed was not a factor in the incident, and Lund will be fine.
Click here for a link to the Department of Public Safety’s winter driving tips and safety kit suggestions.