Passerby rescues a man and his daughter from sinking vehicle

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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.

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