Publish date:

Deputy rescues woman from sinking car in Alexandria

The daring rescue happened late Saturday evening.

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.

Subscribe: Sign up for our daily newsletters.

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.

Today's Top Stories

– 11-year-old girl reported missing in Brooklyn Park.

– Video, pictures show astonishing river surges near Duluth.

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.

Next Up

minneapolis police

Reuters report claims MPD has engaged in 'pullback' since George Floyd's murder

The report has put the department in the spotlight once again.

Foreman tl - Flug-Presley tr - Sturm bl - Pettus br - Go Fund Me and Facebook

Mystery surrounds discovery of 4 MN friends found dead in SUV

Here's what is known about the case so far — and what questions remains.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.21.25 AM

Mpls. school moves to virtual learning due to homeless encampment on grounds

The Volunteers of America School says some students will work remotely, while others work at alternative sites.

storm, severe weather

Severe weather Thursday: Here's what the NWS is saying

If storms can get going during daylight hours, they might be nasty.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson to serve as independent after ousting by House DFL

Thompson has been involved in multiple controversies following a July 4 traffic stop.


Chisholm school sends some grades home due to COVID-19 outbreak

Elementary students at Vaughan-Steffensrud are subject to the outbreak.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins needs to let it fly against the Cardinals

An aggressive approach could ensure a win in the desert.

Minneapolis police

Shooting Wednesday marks 7th homicide in 7 days in Minneapolis

The latest shooting happened just before noon Wednesday.


Pedestrian, 34, dies after being struck by semi-trailer on Hwy. 12

The State Patrol says the pedestrian was standing in the lane when he was struck by the semi.

Charpenter injury ATV Go Fund Me

ATV rider nearly killed after being impaled in neck by large stick

The stick was 1.5 inches in diameter and went 6-7 inches into his body.


eagan rescue 1

Driver rescued from car sinking in Eagan pond

The man suffered a medical emergency prior to crashing into the pond.

Woman, 2 girls airlifted to hospital after train hits car

It happened in Otter Tail County Saturday afternoon.

Woman killed after being struck by car near Grand Rapids

The incident happened late Saturday evening.

Child hit by car while walking home from school in Alexandria

It happened Tuesday near Voyager Elementary School.

Sheriff's deputy hailed as a hero for saving family of 3 trapped in sinking car

Water was rushing into the overturned minivan when Deputy Alex Schlangen arrived.

Neighbors rescue woman from fiery crash

A group of good Samaritans in Maplewood risked their own lives Sunday to rescue Stacy Norton trapped inside a burning car. KARE 11 reports her Grand Am hopped a curb, plowed through a mailbox and tee-boned a tree before bursting into flames. Norton was rushed to the hospital with a broken hip and broken ribs. She is expected to be okay.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Crash near Alexandria leaves pickup driver dead, passenger injured

It happened Saturday afternoon in Douglas County.