Rochester man rescues two people from the Zumbro River
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A passerby is being credited for helping pull a man and a young child to safety after their car ended up in the Zumbro River.
Jian Zhong, 37, lost control of the vehicle Sunday around 10:30 a.m. on County Road 105 NW near the entrance to Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo in Byron. He was traveling with his three-year-old daughter.
Zhong initially tried to open the doors from the inside but was unsuccessful, said Capt. Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. Fortunately, a passerby saw the car in the river and pulled over to help.
That man, identified as 45-year-old Jeremy "Jerry" Severson of Rochester, was able to open the back door and get Zhong and his daughter to safety.
"I didn't know what to do at first — I wanted to get a rock but then I see there's a baby." said Severson in a phone interview on Monday. "Thank God the back door opened and I didn't need to break a window."
Severson was traveling to the zoo with his mother, who called 9-1-1. He said about half the car was submerged at the time of the rescue.
"By the time we got done, the car was fully under water," said Severson.
Note: Location on the map is approximate.