DOUGLAS COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - A Douglas County sheriff's deputy saved a woman's life Saturday after she drove off a bridge into Lake Latoka near Alexandria, Minnesota.
According to authorities, the 76-year-old woman was traveling east in the westbound lane in a construction area shortly after 9:00 p.m. when she drove off a bridge that is currently being replaced. She ended up in the channel of Lake Latoka, and Deputy Ben Jarvi was first on the scene.
With the water rising fast in the woman's car, Jarvi grabbed a life jacket, tied a rope around his waist and took the plunge.
"I just went back to my training," he said. "I don't even remember my feet being off the ground."
He found the woman still in her car with about four inches of air between the water and roof of the vehicle. Luckily he was able to open the door and pull her from the car, while a witness used the rope around Jarvi's waist to pull them both to safety.
"It's a miracle," he said. "A lot of people came together to make sure she was pulled out of the vehicle safely."
And even after the hair-raising incident, Jarvi dried off and returned to work for his Sunday afternoon shift. The woman, meanwhile, was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries.
The MN State Patrol is currently investigating the accident.