UPDATE: Driver trapped inside truck near Rollingstone freed, tak - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Driver trapped inside truck near Rollingstone freed, taken to hospital


A man has been taken to the hospital after first responders worked for three hours to free him from being trapped inside a truck in a ditch just northwest of Rollingstone Monday morning.

The Winona County Sheriff's Office said the truck loaded with mixed grain was heading downhill when the brakes may have given out, causing the driver to lose control. The truck hit an embankment and launched into the ditch near the intersection of County Road 114 and County Road 25, landing in the creek and slamming into the side of the hill.

"Well he's inside the creek, inside the embankment," said Winona County Sheriff's Office investigator Kraig Glover on the scene.  "That was crushed around him also, so they've been digging that out, removing dirt and earth, in order to get to him and to the truck to remove the truck from around him. It's a pretty delicate situation right now."

With the truck full of mud, first responders from Winona, Rollingstone, and Altura faced a unique challenge, but a neighbor with a backhoe pitched in and they started digging.

"It filled the top of the cab up," said Rollingstone Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Speltz, "If you looked from an angle you could still see him, but we started digging him out right away."

It was a tense and messy scene. The driver was awake and talking, but seriously hurt. Firefighters used the jaws of life to saw the roof off of the truck as extended family and the man's employer from the farm up the street stood and watched.

"I felt like we were going nowhere at first. Piece by piece we dug a little bit. We dug with the backhoe then we got the shovels out. We had to be careful not to move the truck, because we didn't know how his leg was pinned. That was the whole problem, we didn't know how his leg was pinned."

With the truck smashed in around him, volunteers on the scene held up IV fluids as others worked.

Eventually, crews sawed him out of his seat. After three harrowing hours, the driver was taken to the hospital by Winona Ambulance.

A flight team from Gundersen Health System, along with teams from Rollingstone Rescue, Altura Ambulance and Rollingstone Ambulance also responded to the accident.

The driver's name is expected to be released Tuesday morning.

Map: Approximate location of accident

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