Skip to main content

Trooper saves woman from car moments before floodwaters sweep it away


A state trooper waded out to a car stranded in floodwaters on Interstate 90 – and plucked the 21-year-old Anoka driver from the vehicle just moments before the car was swept away.

Neither was injured in the daring Monday night rescue in far southwestern Minnesota, the State Patrol says on its Facebook page.

Julisa Jones, on a trip home from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told reporters that she had been going too fast and drove right into a stretch of water-covered roadway.

"I hit the water, my car spun, and I immediately slam on the brakes," Jones told FOX 9. "I look in front of me, and there's a huge ditch. The ditch looked like a huge wave, so I knew the field was completely flooded – so I knew if I went to the ditch, I wasn't going to be able to get out at all."

Water began to fill the car quickly, and it began to push the vehicle toward the ditch. She called 911. She thought she was going to die, and she told the Star Tribune that thoughts of her 3-year-old daughter flooded her head.

“My feet went numb, and my legs were shaking," she told the newspaper. "I didn’t know how much longer I could wait.”

State Trooper Brian Beuning, 33, came upon the scene and immediately waded out into the water, and Jones escaped into his arms from her back window.

Seconds later, the car was swept by the floodwaters into the ditch and rolled away.

She told reporters she was amazed that Beuning was able to brace himself upright in the rushing water.

Beuning, father of a 2-year-old, assured Jones they would make it – "We’re going to do this for our kids," he had said, Jones told the Star Tribune.

A DNR boat was unable to rescue the pair due to the current. Two firefighters in water rescue suits, who were secured to a rope that was lashed to a nearby semi truck, waded out to them. The four, tied together, slowly made their way back to safety.

“He didn’t know what was going to happen and he didn’t care. He just wanted to at least try to save me,” Jones told WCCO.

Jones said she was genuinely touched that Beuning would risk his life.

"If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today,” Jones told WCCO.

This embed is invalid

Several other rescues have been reported amid Minnesota flooding in the last few days. A 53-year-old New Jersey woman was rescued Tuesday in central Minnesota near Crosslake after her kayak overturned on the Pine River, and she was trapped against a tree by the strong current, Forum News Service reports.

Next Up

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook suffered torn labrum, dislocated shoulder

Cook is now dealing with a dislocated shoulder and a torn labrum on both sides of his body, according to a report.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

One Gophers QB has already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

unsplash - woman sick coughing - CROP

Long COVID: Review of Mayo patients may provide new clues

The researchers summarized three "major novel findings" from the data.

Joe Biden

Biden's visit to MN will include stop at Dakota County Technical College

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.

Brooklyn Center police

Victim of 'accidental' shooting ID'd as 23-year-old Duluth woman

The 23-year-old died three days after being shot while sitting in a parked vehicle.


Trooper jumps into lake to save driver

Minnesota state trooper Jesse Grabow was patrolling Interstate 94 near Alexandria Thursday when a car in front of him careened off the freeway and into Lake Lakota. Grabow say he was calling for backup before the car had even hit the water.

Trooper Corey Johnson, Alysson Andert, and Trooper Brian Schwartz.

Woman's life saved by troopers after car flips, lands in water

The 22 year old was revived after the crash on Wednesday night.