Morrell trucker jumps into action to rescue driver submerged in pond

by Joni Astrup

Associate editor

Scott Rosenberg had dropped off a load of concrete products in Stillwater and was headed north on Manning Trail around 7:30 a.m. May 9 when he came across an accident that appeared to have just happened.

Scott Rosenberg used a boom on his semitrailer to flip a truck that was upside down in a pond, with the driver trapped inside.

Scott Rosenberg used a boom on his semitrailer to flip a truck that was upside down in a pond with the driver trapped inside.

A pickup truck was upside down in a pond, steam rising off it.

Rosenberg braked immediately and thought, ‘If somebody is in there, they’re going to drown.’

Rosenberg, who works for Morrell and Morrell LP in Elk River, was driving a semitrailer with a boom that he uses for unloading product. He knew that equipment could flip the vehicle over, so he backed across the road and onto the shoulder to position his rig. When he got out, two other men were at the pickup pulling on the door and one asked if he had a crowbar. He had one and another big bar and they tried briefly to pry open the door but it wouldn’t budge.

That’s when he used the boom, with help from the men by the vehicle, to flip the pickup over.

After the pickup was right side up one of the men looked inside and shook his head, thinking the driver had died. But then the man started moaning.

This vehicle was turned upright by a driver from Morrell Companies in Elk River.

This vehicle was turned upright by a driver from Morrell and Morrell in Elk River.

Rosenberg said they still couldn’t get the pickup’s doors open, but after several minutes police and a rescue unit arrived. “The rescue squad cut the guy out, put him on a stretcher and put him in the ambulance,” he said.

Rosenberg said he shook hands with the other men who helped with the rescue and one of them took his picture and told him, “You’re the man of the hour.”

Rosenberg, who lives in Isanti, is in his 22nd year driving for Morrells.

“If you save somebody’s life, I’ve never had an experience like that,” he said. “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Mike Kane, operations manager with Morrell and Morrell LP, said the Washington County’s Sheriff’s Office told him if it wasn’t for Rosenberg’s quick thinking, the driver would have died.

Scott Rosenberg drives this semitrailer with a boom.

Scott Rosenberg drives this semitrailer with a boom.

Cheri Dexter, patrol division commander with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said she has submitted Rosenberg for a lifesaving award.

A committee will vote on whether it meets the criteria of the award, she said. If Rosenberg receives the award, it would be presented at a ceremony in September, she said.

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