ERIN TOWNSHIP, Minn. (KMSP) - The Rice County sheriff's office is crediting a Good Samaritan with rescuing a Lonsdale, Minn. man whose car was sinking into a holding pond after going off the road.
A Jenny and Russ Braith of Montgomery were driving near Millersburg Blvd. and Independence Ave. in the Erin Township around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday morning when they noticed a vehicle sinking into a nearby holding pond.
Jenny called 911, while her husband went down to the vehicle and found a man inside struggling to get out. Russ flagged down another passing motorist for help. Together, the two men broke the window of the vehicle and pulled the driver from the vehicle before the it became fully submerged.
"I didn't want [Russ] to be in eye contact with him and not be able to help him and have him basically die in front of our eyes," Jenny said.
Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said by the time police arrived, the vehicle was completely submerged in six feet of water. The driver, Larry Stavos, 67, was being treated by first responders. He was transported to Northfield Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
"Mr. Stavos was fortunate that this Good Samaritan was there to extricate him from the vehicle before first responders arrived." Dunn said in a statement. "This easily could have been a serious injury crash or fatality if it weren't for the heroic actions of this passing motorist."
Police are still investigating what caused Stavos to drive off the road. Investigators thought alcohol might be involved.
"At 6 o'clock in the morning? I never drink before 7!" Stavos told Fox 9 in response to reports he may have been drinking.