A young SUV driver slid into a deep pond in Andover and was rescued from the frigid water by a sheriff's deputy as the driver struggled to keep his head above the surface, authorities said Friday.
Zach S. Fritz, 19, of Andover, was taken to Mercy Hospital after his perilous departure from Bunker Lake and Crosstown boulevards shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office. Fritz was treated at the hospital, went home that day and is doing well, his family said.
Deputy Chris Pierro, who has been with the sheriff's office for five years, shed some equipment and clothing before entering the water and swimming to the floundering Fritz. Pierro needed no medical treatment.
Once Fritz was on dry land, he was treated by Allina Health paramedics and Anoka Fire Department personnel, the sheriff's office said.
Fritz's SUV went out of control on the icy road, slid sideways and jumped the curb before going through a fence and into the pond, the sheriff's office said.
Minnesota roads were treacherous Thursday, with hundreds of accidents and spinouts reported statewide as a winter storm swept through.
"Although these instances do not occur every day," Sheriff James Stuart said in a statement, "our deputies are always prepared to put themselves in harm's way in order to protect the public ... Deputy Pierro truly demonstrated heroics as our first responders sought to save this driver."