Good Samaritans talk about rescue of Fargo driver from water-filled ditch – InForum

Good Samaritans talk about rescue of Fargo driver from water-filled ditch - InForum

EVANSVILLE, Minnesota — Ryan Huso, his wife Rachel and their goldendoodle Arlo were returning from celebrating Easter with family when they saw brake lights and a car upside down in a water-filled ditch off Interstate 94.

The weather had turned bitter. Snow covered the road. Steam rose from the upside-down Lexus. In front of Huso, another car had stopped and a man named Kyle Rohlfs and his family yelled for them to call 911.

“I ran into the water not knowing if anyone was in it. I didn’t witness it. I just ran into the water without knowing it, but it looked pretty new,” Huso said.

“I got to the car and I looked, and the whole thing was underwater, and I just started pulling on the door handle. It was buried in the mud. I guess I got it open about 80%,” Huso said.

Ryan Huso and his wife Rachel.

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Rohlfs, an insurance salesman, and Huso, a truck driver, managed to pry the door completely open, Huso said.

“I think I just went into aggressive mode and dived up to my neck and I felt her. The car was pitch dark, the mud, you couldn’t see anything. Suddenly I felt her and she started kicking so I grabbed her and pulled her out. She said she found an air pocket,” Huso said.

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow confirmed that the crash happened on Easter Sunday, April 17 at approximately 1:30 p.m. and that the rescue of the “Good Samaritan” took place before emergency services arrived.

Rohlfs and his wife Tasha and their two children saw the accident happen.

Rohlfs spotted a car, which he later learned was being driven by Fargo resident Shannon Aughinbaugh, who passed him and his family on I-94 near Milestone 82 near Evansville, Minn.

“Not more than 4 to 5 seconds later her car started to spin sideways in the right lane and I couldn’t see if she hit the drier shoulder, but suddenly the car just flipped upright. It was like the movies. It was surreal,” Rohlfs said.

Then he saw the splash. “My wife Tasha picked up the phone and called 911. I couldn’t stop right away, so I stopped 100 or 150 yards before where she went in,” Rohlfs said.

“When I got there, Ryan was in the water trying to get the door open and he had it open quite a way, and I helped him open it as much as I could. He was able to reach a little further in and suddenly there came one arm out of the water and then she came out of the water,” Rohlfs said.

Huso took Aughinbaugh to his car where his wife provided clothes, boots and a blanket. Arlo, their dog, barked at first with a stranger so close, then snuggled up to Aughinbaugh as if to keep her warm, Huso said.

The Huso family dog, Arlo, a goldendoodle.jpeg

The Huso family dog, Arlo, a goldendoodle.

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They drove to the nearest exit and waited for the emergency services. The Ashby Fire Department, the Minnesota State Patrol and others responded quickly.

The crash left Aughinbaugh only with a scrape on her knee, and she’s back at work.

She said she hit ice and her vehicle started to roll. The cabin of her car filled with water and she managed to unfasten her seat belt and swim to a small air pocket.

“I’m amazed at their willingness to even approach the vehicle, as neither of them knew if anyone was inside or not,” Aughinbaugh said.

Kyle Rohlfs, his wife Tasha and their two children, Reagan and Carson..jpg

Kyle Rohlfs, his wife Tasha and their two children.

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“I’m really lucky to be here. I don’t believe I would be here if they weren’t there. I don’t know how much time I had with the air pocket I found. It was small and the water was freezing,” Aughinbaugh said.

“I remember thinking about how much time I had before my air supply ran out or I would go into hypothermic shock, and almost immediately I heard male voices outside the vehicle,” Aughinbaugh said.

“We just did the right thing,” Rohlfs said. “Adrenaline kicked in. I didn’t even notice the water temperature. My heart rate only dropped after three hours.”

“I was just surprised she was okay, and relieved. I couldn’t believe the door opened, and it wasn’t destroyed. It was a blessing that it went into the water,” Rohlfs said.

“It was a quick reaction in my head. Before I jumped into the water, about chest-deep, I thought, ‘Am I going in for nothing? Had the people left already?’ My inner conscience said you should check it anyway,” Huso said.

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