By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — St. Paul police say about 15 bystanders came together to rescue a victim who was stuck under a truck that lost control and crashed late Monday morning.

According to police, an inattentive driver lost control of a truck on Maryland Avenue near Interstate 35E and hit a light pole, causing it to fall. Two men were sitting on landscaping bricks nearby eating lunch and were involved in the aftermath of the falling pole and careening car.

One of the men was struck by the truck, which continued to slide for about 10 more yards, trapping the victim beneath it. The other man was uninjured.

Police say about 15 people — both bystanders and nearby motorists — worked together to lift the full-sized pickup off the victim. He was then transported to Regions Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The truck driver, a 68-year-old man, was cited for failure to drive with due care. According to police at the scene, he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

Traffic noise along Maryland Avenue is common, but the sound Vanessa Nepstad heard through her nearby apartment window was not.

“I hear tires screeching and I hear a big bang,” she said. The noise came from the truck hitting the light post. She ran outside to see if her parents were involved in the crash since they had just driven away from her apartment seconds earlier.

“When I come outside I see my mom at that corner screaming, ‘We need help, we need help, there’s a man under a truck,’” she said. “Then I see random cars just stopping to come and help.”

Public Information Officer Steve Linders called the incident a scary and dangerous situation, adding that, “We’re just glad that the victim in this case is gonna make it.”

The victim might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the right people were right by his side the whole time.

“It makes me feel better knowing that there still are good people out there that are willing to help,” said Nepstad.


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