Woman trapped in car for 18 hours meets rescuer

10:18 AM, Mar 17, 2013   |    comments
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CENTERVILLE, Minn. - For the first time since her car accident nine weeks ago, 67-year-old Nancy Brebers met the man who is credited for saving her life.

"Nice to meet you and thank you again for letting me live," she said as she hugged 20-year-old Geoffrey Racette. "You did the right thing."

The last time these two saw each other Brebers was reportedly near death.

"He said, are you okay?! And I said, yes I'm fine but get me out of here," she recalls.

Brebers, who lives in Centerville, was on her way to St. Louis Park to meet her husband for dinner back in January. She got lost and ended up in Plymouth when she hit a patch of ice.

"I can remember going into the ditch and just tipped," she said.

Nancy described how her vehicle was on its side in a swamp. She was able to stand on the driver side window but could not get out.

"I tried to yell and scream and you can't. And there's nobody around and it was an industrial area so nobody was going to be there over the weekend," she said.

There she stood in a foot of water and the cold for 18 hours. She stayed awake all night. The next day Racette just happened to be riding by on his bike coming home from work.

"I'd actually came by that same road that same morning but I was on the other side and didn't see her," said Racette.

Racette was not even supposed to work that day and he left work early, something he tells KARE 11 he never does. If he had left work at his normal time, he said would have traveled by Brebers four hours later.

"They gave me about two hours to live or less until he found me," she said.

"It's nothing short of a miracle," added Racette.

Initially listed in critical condition Brebers is expected to make a full recovery. She made her first trip home Friday with her husband of nearly five decades by her side. But she has to spend one more night at the rehab center just as a precaution.

"It changes this place from a house to a home to have her back," said Ron Brebers. "I know what it's like to win the lottery because I did."

And in the welcome home basket Racette and his mother brought with them to the Brebers house, a new mug carrying with it a message almost made for the moment.

"God chose you from the beginning. Found and treasured," she read. "How true, how true."

To show their appreciation, the Brebers plan to start raising money for a college fund for Racette who cannot afford school.

(Copyright 2013 KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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