4 earn North Dakota Highway Patrol awards for heroic acts
Two men helped save distressed man's life, and the other two helped avoid tragedy during a house fire.
FARGO — Heroic acts by three citizens and a North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper have earned them the agency's Colonel's Award for Excellence.
Two of the citizens helped prevent a man from jumping off the Interstate 29 overpass above 13th Avenue South in Fargo.
Mitchell Lau Jr. of Moorhead was in his truck Oct. 11 on the interstate when he pulled his vehicle across the road to prevent motorists from running over the man who had jumped out of a vehicle. Lau then pulled the man from the overpass railing where he was trying to jump to the avenue below.
The man was struggling with Lau and yelling that he wanted to die.
Andrew Revier of Fargo was also on I-29 and stopped his vehicle to help Lau restrain the distressed man until emergency crews arrived and took him to Sanford Medical Center to be treated for injuries.
In another incident, Elizabeth Romaine of Wahpeton was traveling south on County Road 81 south of Fargo on Nov. 30 when she saw a house on fire near 124th Avenue South.
As a member of the Dwight Fire Department and a Richland County emergency dispatcher, she immediately called 911 and drove into the farmstead where the house was engulfed in flames.
Trooper Bennett Strege of Fargo was also in the area and responded to the scene.
The two found the female homeowner on a ladder removing pets from the house. They helped her and put the pets in a nearby shelter. They also convinced her to move away from the house's dangerous flames.
Meanwhile, the male homeowner was trying to move a burning tractor away from the house. His clothing caught fire and Strege instructed him to roll in the snow to put the fire out, with Romaine helping the man.
After the man extinguished the flames on his clothes, Romaine had him wait in her warm vehicle until an ambulance with medics arrived and treated him. The house was a total loss.
The colonel's award is given by the North Dakota Highway Patrol's superintendent to employees and citizens for actions that benefit the patrol and the state.