UPS driver rescues woman from sinking car in Tyson Lake, then finishes his delivery route

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson

Dustin Kramer, a UPS driver in Granite Falls, was working his regular delivery shift on the 19th when he happened upon something that caught his attention. While Kramer was headed to his first stop of the day delivering a next day air package, he approached a four-way intersection and noticed a semi-truck on the side of the road. He then noticed that a car near the pulled-over semi had gone off the roadway and was sinking in Tyson Lake near Wood Lake. 

Kramer would normally have turned left to continue his route, but he made a heroic decision that morning and pulled up behind the semi to help. “If something's going on, I guess I just I would rather help than be a passerby,” Kramer said.

The semi-truck driver, still dressed in jeans and work boots tried to rescue the woman, but was unsuccessful in his attempts and needed assistance, while another nearby bystander who didn’t know how to swim called 911.

Dustin Kramer

Kramer, without hesitating, took off his shoes, emptied his pockets of anything inside, and entered the water to assist the semi-truck driver. Kramer assisted the semi-truck driver by taking the woman from his arms and swimming her back to land. The semi-truck driver who had made it back to land after handing the woman over to Kramer was then able to help Kramer and the woman out of the water.

Chad Bemmels, a family member of the woman driving the car says, “He did something selfless for a stranger that gave them a second chance to have a good life and share that with their family.”

Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flatten was a responding officer on the scene of the accident. He praised the efforts of the semi-truck driver and Kramer, saying, “Those guys did a fantastic job. I’m proud that they were able to just do that without thinking about it. They saw the problem, jumped in, helped get her out of the water so that she could get whatever medical assistance she needed.”

After the rescue, Kramer contacted his girlfriend who then brought him a dry uniform so that he could continue his UPS shift for the day. Dustin Kramer is a Granite Falls resident who has worked for UPS for a little over a year.