Two rescued after truck crashes off I-94 into riverPublished 1:25pm Monday, July 14, 2014 Updated 6:02pm Monday, July 14, 2014
A man and a woman were rescued after their pickup truck crashed off of eastbound Interstate 94 and into the Otter Tail River at around noon Monday after the driver fell asleep and went off the road to the right, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
The driver, Victor Tschida, 83, reportedly said he was going 60 mph in the righthand lane when he fell asleep. The vehicle went off the road and into the river. It floated westbound in the strong current, but got hung up a couple hundred feet from where it went into the water.
The Fergus Falls Fire Department rescued the driver and passenger, Beatrice Tschida, 79, both of Melrose. They walked assisted up the embankment, but the woman was then taken on a stretcher to a nearby ambulance. They were both taken to Lake Region Hospital where they were treated and released for minor, non-life threatening injuries. They both were wearing seat belts.
The truck, which was pulling a small trailer with two riding lawn mowers, was about 80 percent submerged in the water. The vehicle was towed and sustained moderate damage.
Traffic was down to one lane for about a half-mile at the crash scene, near mile marker 54 where the river intersects the interstate.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office, Ringdahl Ambulance and Fergus Falls police assisted.