And now, this message from humanity

No doubt it was difficult for people to read the charges against a Crystal father, now accused of murdering his son for the insurance money, without losing all faith in humanity.

So here’s an antidote: Jerry Severson of Rochester, Minn., who was walking on a bridge crossing the Zumbro River just north of Byron Sunday morning when he saved the lives of two people he didn’t know.

A car had plunged into the river, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports.

The man, 37-year-old Jian Zhong, of Rochester, was still in the driver’s seat and unable to open the door. He was pounding on the window, Severson said, “like he was saying, ‘see me, please see me.’ The sight of that guy in the car, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”

So Severson jumped in the river, with its 50-degree water.

“I was yelling at him, ‘get the baby out, get the baby out,’ then yelled to my mom to get a rock,” Severson said. “I thought I’d have to break the window to get her out.”

While still in the front seat, the man had been able to unbuckle his 3-year-old daughter from her car seat, then push the back door open.

Severson couldn’t stand up; the current was too strong.

As he rescued the baby in the back, he thought of his own toddler at home.

“When I saw her, and (the car) was going under, I needed (my mom) right then,” he said. “I thought I’d need her to get that rock.”

Severson, who nearly drowned as a child, rescued the baby, then helped the man to safety.

“I’m the one who had to do something — and I was scared,” he said. “It just goes to show you that anything can happen at any time.”

Then, soaking wet, Severson, his mother, and 10-year-old cousin, headed off to their destination: an outing at the zoo.

  • kay smith

    Thanks, Bob, it helps my rising gorge after seeing ‘bound with duct tape’ in the headlines.

  • John

    Good man. My kids and I had to talk about the guy from Crystal last night. A six year old is not really equipped to understand that such a thing could even happen. I think she still doesn’t (which I am absolutely okay with – I’m not sure I even really understand that this could happen).

    Unfortunately, given the long list of things that she is currently “afraid” of, I think I’m going to have to pass on talking with her about this one. She’ll be “afraid” of crossing bridges next.

  • Julie

    “I’m the one who had to do something — and I was scared,” he said. “It just goes to show you that anything can happen at any time.”
    Those moments are the epiphany and the future strength that will get a person through difficult times with difficult people in diifficult situations.