Cyclist saves teen who fell through ice on Minnesota River

Mike Torp gestures to the Minnesota River while describing how he rescued a teen who fell throw the ice. (FOX 9)

A teenager was nearly swept away on the Minnesota River as she was trying to save her two dogs on New Year's Day. Fortunately, one man was in the right place at the right time, most likely saving her life as she was clinging onto a sheet of ice. 

“It’s just such an eye-opener about how fast things can change,” said Mike Torp, the rescuer.

“And she’s just lucky that another person happened to be on the river bottom trail and was able to get out and save her,” said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts.

What happened Wednesday afternoon along the Minnesota River is wrapped in a sense of fate.

“That’s the part that makes my knees shake - a lot,” said Torp.

Torp had actually intended to go out on a fat bike ride earlier that morning and instead ended up going out later in the day. That change of plans may have saved a life.

Torp noticed the teen out on the ice trying to get her dog out of the water. Within seconds, he saw her other dog fall in, then her as well.

“This is just a good reminder that the ice is not safe,” said Chief Potts. “People should not be out on ice at this point in time. Clearly, it’s too warm, especially on the river.”

Chief Potts believes Torp absolutely saved the girl’s life.

“She fell through the ice, the water was up to her neck,” said Chief Potts. “She was not able to touch the ground. She was kind of just holding in place.”

“Laying down, I just pushed my bike out to her,” said Torp.

Torp used his bike as a rescue device, giving her something to grab onto. She got the dogs out, then herself - soaking wet, but fine. After the rescue, he says they didn’t see another person until about 10 minutes later.

“I don’t know how she would have gotten out without help,” said Torp.