Officials find good Samaritan who rescued driver from fire

Published 1:27 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015

MANKATO — Authorities said Friday that they would not have been able to rescue a semitrailer driver from a fiery crash earlier this week without the help of a good Samaritan who was passing by.

Paul Langseth of Worthington was recognized for his efforts at a news conference in Mankato.

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Ron Richards said the fiery crash happened Monday afternoon on Highway 60 near Heron Lake. Richards said that as flames began creeping into the semi cab, Richards looked at Langseth and said he needed help. Together, they pulled Mike Junker from Trimont out of the truck moments before the cab caught fire.

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“Paul was instrumental,” Richards said. “There is no way I could have got him out alone.”

Langseth’s wife, Leanne, said she was watching nervously from their car.

“I was doing a lot of praying,” she said.

Langseth is downplaying the praise.

“They call me a good Samaritan but it’s just reacting to a situation that was there,” he said.

Junker, who has been released from the hospital, wrote a statement thanking Langseth, Richards and two nurses who stopped to assist. Junker was cited for inattentive driving in the crash.