September 2, 2014

Close call for dozing driver

A Minnesota woman and her 23-month-old daughter are lucky to be alive for the New Year, after she fell asleep and her vehicle landed in a western Wisconsin river.

The State Patrol said 21-year-old Daniella Overett of Elko dozed off at the wheel while heading west on Interstate 94 near Menomonie just after 5:30 yesterday morning. When she woke up from her nap, she realized her predicament.

According to the State Patrol, her vehicle was driving in a median just before the Red Cedar River crossing. It continued moving down the side of a bridge, over an embankment, and landed partially submerged in the river.

Officials said Overett was able to escape from the vehicle and grab her daughter. Overett climbed up the embankment in snow and single-digit temperatures. She was able to flag down a good Samaritan driving a semi.

Both mother and daughter survived with just minor injuries, and they were checked out at a hospital. Part of the freeway was closed for a short time yesterday while the vehicle was being removed from the river.