Deputy rescues woman from sinking car in Alexandria

The daring rescue happened late Saturday evening.
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A sheriff's deputy jumped into action to save a woman whose car was sinking after she drove off a bridge.

The dramatic scenes unfolded near Alexandria at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, when 76-year-old Beverly Toso, of Hoffman, crashed her vehicle on I-94 west at Lake Latoka.

The freeway is currently down to single-lane traffic while the bridge across Lake Latoka is replaced.

While it's not clear how the incident happened, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office say Toso was traveling east in the westbound lanes closed for construction, and was unable to stop in time before she drove off the bridge.

Her Toyota Avalon landed in a channel of Lake Latoka, before starting to sink in the water with her trapped inside.

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Step forward Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Jarvi, who was close to the scene at the time and arrived to find Toso's Toyota mostly submerged in the channel.

He tied a rope to his waist and entered the water, with the rope anchored to witness Kenneth Fletcher, who called 911 after seeing the crash.

Jarvi found Toso still in the vehicle with just 4 inches of air between the water and the roof. He was able to open the door and pull her from the vehicle, before Fletcher pulled the pair to shore.

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Toso was taken to Alomere Hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The deputy told KARE 11 that he couldn't see Toso when he first reached the car.

"The water was that high. I could just talk to her but I couldn't see her," Jarvi said, adding that her rescue was a "miracle."

The crash is under investigation by the State Patrol.

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