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Forum staff reports, Published April 18 2011

Colgate teen helps rescue family from car

PAGE, N.D. – A Colgate teen is being heralded as a hero after he helped a Page family escape from an SUV trapped in a ditch filled with nearly freezing water Friday afternoon, according to Cass County deputies.

Todd Erickson was driving an SUV on Highway 38, about two miles north of here, when he lightly tapped the brake to turn off his cruise control, says Sgt. Mitch Rumple. His vehicle fishtailed and slid off the slushy road and then overturned into a water-filled ditch.

Austin Brown, Colgate, saw the accident and called for help. He also dove into the water and used a shovel to break a window so Erickson and his 15-year-old son could escape.

The driver was treated at Sanford Health for non-life-threatening injuries, Rumple said.

The family declined to be interviewed.

“I’m glad I could help,” Brown told KVLY TV. “I was in the right place at the right time.”