Good Samaritan pulls man from burning car in New Brighton


A quick-thinking good Samaritan saved a man's life when he pulled him from his burning vehicle on Interstate 35W in New Brighton Sunday, according to State police.

“[Robert Renning] did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person,” Trooper Zachary Hill said. “I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive.”

Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, while driving down I-35W, Renning noticed Michael Johannes' vehicle was on fire, so he flagged him down.

When they pulled over, Johannes' vehicle was engulfed in smoke and the electric locks and windows had stopped working, trapping him inside. Johannes tried to kick the windows out of the car, but failed.

Renning ran over to the car, and with his bare hands, bent the framing around the window (see picture above), shattering the glass, state police said. He then pulled Johannes to safety.

"I'm still not sure exactly how I did it, but I got my fingers behind the door frame on top and started pulling the glass, and it shattered. I pulled him out through the window and onto the grass," Renning told the Star Tribune.

“It certainly saved the man’s life,” State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske told the newspaper. “It was a heroic deed by Mr. Renning.”

State police said Johannes suffered minor smoke inhalation and a few cuts from being pulled through the window, but he's otherwise fine. Renning wasn't injured.

Next Up

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been field yet and the staff member has not been identified.

cook county schools

Investigation after assistant principal displays "joke" Gadsden flag during announcements

"My apologies to anybody who was offended by that part of the snake that was on that comic and it's been taken down."

Forest - orono, Minnesota

Report: Forests, agricultural land could help Minnesota reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Nature Conservancy's Minnesota chapter released a report that shows how many acres of trees would be needed to help the state reach its reduction goals.

University of Minnesota

U of M will halt admissions to 12 PhD programs

The move is expected to help address the school's estimated budget shortfall of $166 million.

snow, plow

NWS says 'increasing potential for an impactful winter storm' this weekend

Nothing is certain yet. The weather service advises Minnesotans to monitor the forecast.

Mike Lindell, My Pillow CEO.

Under-fire Mike Lindell claims retailers have dropped MyPillow

The MyPillow CEO is seeing receiving backlash as he continues to share conspiracy theories about the election.

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Antoine Winfield Jr. says playoff win was "for my pops back in '09"

The son of the Vikings legend did not forget about "Bountygate."

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.