A man trapped inside his wheels-up SUV in an Isanti County creek hung on for 30 minutes until rescuers saved him from the frigid waters that reached up to his chest, authorities said Monday.
Once out of the water on Friday afternoon, 53-year-old Yee Vang, of East Bethel, needed only to be checked out by medical personnel before his son came and picked him up, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“He is lucky,” said Sheriff Chris Caulk. “Had it been nighttime, I am sure no one would have seen the dark vehicle on this remote road.”
Authorities have yet to explain how the SUV came to rest upside down in Typo Creek at Typo Creek Drive and 253rd Avenue NE. near Stacy, but the road near the creek was “a bit slick,” Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Lisa Lovering said.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
A passerby called 911 to report a vehicle in the stretch of creek west of Typo Lake and east of the state Schubring Wildlife Management Area. A sheriff’s deputy from neighboring Anoka County was the first to arrive and was concerned that someone was in the SUV, given there were no footprints in the snow nearby.
With a safety line from the Isanti County firefighters now on the scene, the deputy put on his dry suit and took a “Jaws of Life” extrication tool with him.
“To everyone’s surprise,” a statement from the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office read, the deputy came upon Vang as he knelt on the roof inside his upside-down vehicle. His back was to the steering wheel, and he kept one hand above water while clutching his cellphone.
The deputy and other members of law enforcement got Vang out of the water and warmed him in another vehicle until medical personnel arrived.
“This is yet another case of how well neighboring counties work together,” Caulk said, “as well as working very closely with fire agencies. This is not always the case in certain areas, but I am so happy that we have these close relationships.”