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Car plunges into MN lake, trooper right behind her

Minnesota state trooper

Minnesota state trooper ALEXANDRIA, Minn. - In almost 14 years on the job as a Minnesota state trooper, Sgt. Jesse Grabow has never experienced anything like what happened on Thursday afternoon.

Grabow was driving west on Interstate 94 near Alexandria when the car in front of him started to drift off the road.

That particular stretch of 94 splits Lake Latoka, and Grabow could only watch as the car, still going as fast as 70 miles per hour, hit the approach toward the lake. The car sailed high into the air before landing in the water.

"I've seen my share of rollovers," Grabow said. "I've had some wild ones, but I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

After radioing dispatch for assistance, Grabow sprang into action. He waded out to the car, which was in water chest-deep (he said he didn't notice just how cold the water was until the incident was over). But he couldn't remove the driver because the car's doors were still locked.

After Grabow was able to push the still-buoyant car closer to shore, another trooper arrived to help. Two other motorists also stopped and offered their assistance.

"I can't take all the credit. It was definitely a team effort," Grabow said.

The 27-year-old driver, from out of state, drifted from the road because of medical issues, Grabow said. She was taken to a hospital and is reportedly doing fine.

Grabow is thankful he was in the right place at the right time and that the driver is going to be OK.

"That's the thing about this job, about being a state trooper," he said. "You travel some great distances, and you never know what you're going to come across."