Skip to main content

Passerby rescues a man and his daughter from sinking vehicle

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A southern Minnesota man is being credited with saving a father and his 3-year-old daughter after their vehicle went off the road and into the Zumbro River Sunday morning.

Jeremy Severson, of Rochester, was driving his mother and 10-year-old cousin to the Zollman Zoo when he decided to take a detour to check out a nearby bridge – that's when he saw a car in the river near Oxbow Park, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

Jian Zhong, 37, had lost control of his vehicle on County Road 105 and went into the river, ABC 6 reports.

Zhong was banging on the window "like he was saying, 'see me, please see me,'" Severson told the Post Bulletin.

"The sight of that guy in the car, I don't think I'll ever forget it," Severson added.

Severson didn't waste anytime, and waded into the water. He pulled the child out the backdoor and brought her to safety, before he returned to help Zhong to shore, reports say.

He was able to rescue them before the car filled completely with water, KIMT says. Neither appeared injured.

A post on the sheriff's office Facebook page commended Severson for putting himself in harm's way to rescue someone he didn't know.

And when everything was over, Severson and his family still went to the zoo, adding he's sure people were wondering why they were soaking wet, the Rochester Post Bulletin says.

This embed is invalid

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.


Mother, daughter escape from sinking car during flash floods

An Anoka mother and her teenage daughter managed to swim to safety before their car was submerged by flood waters Tuesday morning. Officers responded to nine incidents that required pulling people from submerged vehicles, Anoka police said. Most streets filled up quickly due to fallen leaves blocking storm drains.