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2 Teens, Baby Rescued After Truck Plunges Into Apple River

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A mother and her 5-month-old son are lucky to be alive after their truck plunged into an icy river basin in the town of Apple River, Wis.

They were rescued by three good Samaritans. It happened on County Highway H along the Apple River on Dec. 23.

Nycole Stream, 19, and her infant son, Ayidden, were in a pickup truck along with 16-year-old Krystyna Walenczak when they lost control of their vehicle on the snowy road and went into the ditch. Their truck began to sink into the river basin.

Authorities say the truck left the roadway at a steep embankment and went into the water after breaking through the ice. Two passers-by, identified as Terry and Pamela Blegen of Balsam Lake, Wis., was driving southbound on County Highway H when they saw the splash and found the vehicle floating upside down. Pamela Blegen called 911, while Terry entered the water in a rescue attempt.

The vehicle began to sink and settled on the driver's side, exposing the passenger window that had broken out during the crash. Two other passers-by stopped to help get the driver and 16-year-old passenger out of the vehicle. The search for the baby boy continued until they found him. The boy was initially unresponsive, but was revived.

Apple River Crash Nycole Stream, Ayidden Stream
(credit: Stream Family)
Apple River Crash Polk County Sheriff's Office
(credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office)

"It could have been very bad, very tragic," Shawn Spafford of Amery, Wis., said.

Lifelong friends Thomas Cole and Shawn Spafford were two of three men who found the truck along the Apple River, partially submerged.

"We heard the mom screaming 'my baby's underwater my baby's underwater,'" Cole, from St. Croix Falls, said.

Cole used a pocket knife to cut the baby Ayidden's seatbelt off his car seat that was already beneath the water.

"He wasn't moving, he was blue as blue jeans and he wasn't moving," Cole said.

Together the three men pulled him out along with the two teens.  At first, the boy was unresponsive.

"That's when I bring him up to shore and start CPR," Spafford said. "I suppose maybe a minute but it seemed like an eternity [when] water started coming out of his mouth and he started crying."

Paramedics arrived and the three victims were taken to the hospital. Cole and Spafford say they were just doing what anyone would have done.

"No heroes," Spafford said.  "I would jump in again if it happens."

Ayidden's grandmother told WCCO she hopes to meet the three men who helped save her daughter and grandson.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by the Apple River Fire Department, Apple River First Responders and Amery Ambulance Service.

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