By Tom Chervany
West Central Tribune
MADISON -- An 86-year-old farmer who drove his tractor into a flooded field in Lac qui Parle County was rescued on Thursday by a Minnesota State Patrol trooper with help from a sheriff's deputy and others.
First-year Trooper Kristopher Paluch tied himself to an inflatable raft with a rope and waded into the water to reach the farmer. The water was over the trooper's head at points, according to the State Patrol.
The trooper freed the farmer and guided the raft out of the flooded area. A waiting Lac qui Parle County sheriff's deputy, responders from the Madison Fire Department and Ambulance Squad and bystanders were on hand to pull the two out.
Lac qui Parle Sheriff Dallas Schellberg said the rescue effort got underway after his office received a report of the flood-stranded farmer.
The farmer was not injured but was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
"The trooper put his life on the line to save this gentleman. We are proud of the combined response to this emergency," Schellberg said.