Heroic bystander rescues driver from sinking car after Highway 77 crash

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A heroic bystander rescued the driver from drowning after his car veered off Highway 77 and crashed into a small pond near the Minnesota River early Wednesday afternoon.

Clay Baer of Apple Valley, Minn. was out for a walk with his co-workers when they saw a car come over the embankment and roll over several times before landing in the water. Baer said he immediately dove in when the car started going underwater. When he came up for air, he saw the driver rising to the surface.

“I could see someone gasping right there, so I grabbed him," Baer said. "People panic, so he pushed me under a couple times, and I just laid on my back and I kicked a couple times. I knew I couldn't get back to shore, so I felt the car behind me. I pulled him up on the roof of the car.”

They waited there until rescuers arrived.

“We sat on the car,” Baer said. “We both said a prayer. He, I believe was speaking Arabic and I was praying to Jesus. We were just praying together, hugging each other.”

Rescuers gave Baer a rope bag and pulled both him and the driver, Abdiaziz Mohamud, to shore.

“It was like a movie, so fast and so crazy,” Baer said. ”I don't know, I just did it.”

The driver was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. There is no word yet on his condition.

As for Baer, Minnesota State Patrol plans to nominate him for a lifesaver's award.