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Deputy pulls off amazing rescue of elderly woman who drove into lake, trapped in few inches of air

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A deputy bravely saved the life of a 76-year-old Hoffman, Minnesota woman who accidentally drove her car off a bridge into a lake on Saturday night.

What are the details?

According to WCCO-TV, Beverly Toso was driving east on Interstate 94's westbound lanes when she drove off a bridge that was in the process of being replaced.

The bridge was located in a construction zone, according to the station.

Toso's vehicle went into Douglas County's Lake Latoka, which is 767 acres in size and is approximately 108 feet at its deepest depth. It is currently unknown how deep the water was in which Toso's car landed.

WCCO reported that when Toso's vehicle landed in the lake, it began to sink, trapping the elderly woman inside.

Kenneth Fletcher, a bystander who witnessed the accident, called 911 and Ben Jarvi, a Douglas County deputy sheriff, arrived on the scene to help.

Jarvi arrived to find that the woman's car had only a few inches of air left inside the vehicle and he tied a rope to his waist and jumped into the water.

The other end of the rope was tied to the waist of Fletcher.

With Fletcher's support, Jarvi was able to open the door of Toso's vehicle and pull her out with perhaps just moments to spare.

Fletcher assisted in pulling Jarvi and Toso to shore and safety.

Toso was taken to Alomere Hospital in Alexandria for treatment.

KARE-TV reported that Toso was driving in lanes that were closed for construction.

"When I was on the driver's side, I couldn't see her in the vehicle. The water was that high. I could just talk to her but I couldn't see her," Jarvi told the station.

Sheriff Troy Wolbersen added, "It was fortunate that [Jarvi] was close and he was able to act safely ... Very proud of what he did, very proud of the way he responded and I can't say enough about that."

While her current condition is currently unknown, The Associated Press reported on Sunday that Toso's injuries were not life-threatening.

The Associated Press added that the sheriff's office said Toso "couldn't stop in time" before driving off the bridge.

According to the station, the State Patrol is investigating the incident and its cause.



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