Police officers broke through the sunroof of a partly submerged SUV in a Coon Rapids holding pond early Wednesday and pulled the trapped driver out before she could drown, authorities said.
The swift rescue unfolded about 12:35 a.m. near Hwy. 10 and Hanson Boulevard in the 1800 block of NW. Northdale Boulevard and was captured on police squad video.
Emergency medical responders took the woman, described by police as "lethargic" after the rescue, to nearby Mercy Hospital.
"We have no idea how long she was underwater," said Police Capt. John Stahnke, "however, she was conscious when the officers arrived on scene."
The 44-year-old woman from Blaine "asked for help a couple of times before going unconscious. According to hospital staff, her status is stable, and it appears that she didn't suffer any serious injuries."
Police responded to the iced-over pond, where the vehicle was almost entirely submerged with only the roof and taillights visible. The video shows the first officers on the scene getting out of the squad and stripping off their service belts, bullet-resistant vests and other equipment before hustling into the frigid water as the sirens of other emergency vehicles wailed.
One officer held the driver's head above the surface while others worked to free and remove her through the sunroof, police said.
"The person behind the wheel had apparently been driving erratically prior to crashing into the pond," a police statement read, adding that the officers suspect she had been under the influence of alcohol and possibly an illicit drug at the time.
"While the officers' actions clearly saved a life, the more important message is to not get behind the wheel and drive while impaired," the statement continued.
Stahnke said he expects the woman, who was driving with a canceled license, to be charged with drunken driving.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482