3 people rescued a woman from a burning SUV on the highway

Publish date:

Three people risked their lives to save a woman from a burning SUV on the side of the highway over the weekend.

A Dodge Nitro was heading southbound on I-35 in Pine County around 11:45 a.m. Sunday when the SUV drifted into the ditch, struck a tree, and caught on fire, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

The driver was conscious but couldn't get out of the vehicle because she was injured, the Minnesota Department of Public safety said in a press release. Three passing motorists pulled over and carried the driver to safety as the vehicle burst into flames.

The agency released video of the aftermath – watch it below:


The State Patrol believes the three good Samaritans – Elissa and Josh Schnell, and Sean Kehren – "played a vital role" in saving the woman's life.

Officials have identified the driver as 67-year-old Marie Francoise Hupalo from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Her family says they want to thank all of the rescuers, especially the people who helped get her out of the vehicle.

The State Patrol says the woman was transported to North Memorial hospital in Robbinsdale with non-life threatening injuries. No alcohol was detected in her system, they said.

Elissa Schnell told KARE 11 she remembers Hupalo say, "Everything I own is in that car."

Here are a couple more photos the Department of Public Safety released of the SUV.

Next Up


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.