MCGREGOR, Minn. (FOX 9) - You're driving, and you see a car on the side of the highway mostly underwater. Do you stop, or keep going?
A Coon Rapids native had to make that split-second decision Monday on his way driving through McGregor in Aitkin County.
It seems Trent Lachance was in the right place at the right time. Lachance, a 21-year-old Blaine High School grad who now lives in Texas, said he was headed back toward the Metro from a wedding near Grand Rapids when he saw a pick-up truck underwater.
The Minnesota State Patrol says a GMC Sierra pulling a bobcat was headed westbound on Highway 210 near 230th Avenue in McGregor when the driver lost control and ended up upside down in a ditch.
A few other drivers stopped to help, and Lachance said he felt that was his only option.
"I pulled over and got out and jumped down there and did everything I possibly could. They were trying to break into the window, and they couldn't get into it. And I could hear the mom screaming, so that just kind of like boosted adrenaline into me," Lachance said.
"So you hear the mom screaming?" FOX 9’s Rose Schmidt asked Lachance.
"Yeah," he said.
"What's going through your head?" Schmidt asked.
"Honestly, just I want to get this family out. I wasn't like freaked out or nothing. I just wanted to make sure that they didn't have to like go through that anymore. I wanted to do everything I possibly could. I didn't want that thought like, ‘What if I did something more?’" Lachance said.
Lachance said he broke open a window and pulled the mom out, but she told him her two kids were still inside. He got the baby girl out of the truck, and a driver who said she was a nurse started performing CPR on the baby.
Most of the car was underwater, and the 3-year-old was stuck in the backseat. Lachance said he cut the seat belt but he still couldn't get the boy out. But thankfully, another driver hooked up a chain and was able to flip the truck over and get the child out of the vehicle.
"I waited there," Lachance said. "I wouldn't want to leave not knowing if they were OK or not. I waited and to see if the infant and that 3-year-old were still living.
State troopers said the family is from McGregor, where the crash happened. They were airlifted to the hospital, and the 3-year-old boy was in critical condition. The mom and the baby’s injuries are non-life threatening.