Deputies, good samaritan help save man in St. Michael

Two Wright County Sheriff Deputies and a good samaritan came to the aid of a 72-year-old man after the man collapsed and was not breathing.

Sheriff Joe Hagerty reports that on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 11:58 a.m. the Wright County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a property damage motor vehicle crash near 921 Central Avenue in the City of St. Michael.

While deputies were investigating the crash, one of the involved parties, a 72-year-old St. Michael man, collapsed and was not breathing. With the assistance of a nearby citizen, Ryan Goth, deputies Chad Torkelson and Todd Olson placed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the subject. The AED called for a shock and one was administered. The victim was eventually transported to North Memorial Hospital via ground ambulance where he was breathing and talking about the incident.

Sheriff Hagerty said the 72-year-old man had apparently turned in front of another driver, and while the cars didn’t crash into each other, one slid off the roadway. The drivers were discussing the matter at the parking lot in front of $5 Pizza when sheriff’s deputies arrived.

“Deputy Torkelson was talking to the man and all a sudden he slumped and hit the ground,” Hagerty said. “He applied the pads from the defibrillator and was able to shock him twice.”

The sheriff said availability of the defibrillator made all the difference. All Wright County Sheriff’s Office squads assigned to the Patrol Division have been equipped with AED’s since 1999.

“This happened right in front of the deputy, not sure if that ever happened before with us,” he said. “Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and it’s a matter of life and death.”

Hagerty said the man was awake and responsive during the ambulance ride and at the hospital.

“He came to and was speaking about the incident. It’s just amazing,” he said. He believed the man had experienced a heart attack.

Wright County Capt. Howell said it’s possible that the deputies and citizen may be recognized for their actions.

“At this point it’s to be determined if there was an award,” he said. “It’s something that would be decided down the road.”