Woman rescued after truck goes into lake

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Driver, along with 1 rescuer, taken to hospital after crash


The windshield wipers on a dark red Ford truck were still running as a crane removed the truck from Fountain Lake after noon Wednesday.

The truck, driven by Barbara Gilbertson, 87, from rural Alden, landed in the lake near the intersection of Fountain Street and South Newton Avenue after Gilbertson lost control for an unknown reason while in the lower parking lot of City Hall, a city press release states. The truck and driver traveled across Fountain Street, hit a bench and tree and entered the lake.

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While George Overturf was in Albert Lea Public Library, he heard a crunch. He said he turned to the window to see the truck go into the lake.

“We saw people show up and people ran out there, like bystanders and stuff,” he said. First responders, who were dispatched at 11:32 a.m., arrived quickly, he said.

According to the release, officers observed three people in the water, removing Gilbertson from the vehicle. Gilbertson and a person who was in the water were both transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea via ambulance for injuries deemed not life-threatening.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Allen’s Tow ‘n Travel provided the crane to remove the truck from the lake, which Albert Lea Fire Rescue workers prepared for removal. The truck was removed a little before 1 p.m.

Albert Lea Fire Rescue, Mayo Clinic Ambulance, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Albert Lea Police Department were on the scene, which was across from the fire department’s headquarters.

“It couldn’t have gone in at a better location,” said Reed Niederstadt, who observed the rescue operation.


About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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