A Wilson couple’s impromptu visit to the Royal Credit Union ATM turned out to be fated.
As Lori Klund and fiancé Zachary Morgan were in Menomonie picking up a pizza on the evening of Feb. 23, they decided to hit up the ATM for cash so they didn’t have to use the machine inside the pizza shop and pay a fee.
As the couple idled next to the ATM, Klund looked out her window and saw smoke billowing from a vehicle nearby. She turned to Morgan and said: “Hey look, something is definitely on fire...”
Klund immediately called 911, while Morgan quickly exited the car and approached the smoking 2004 Toyota Sienna van that was partially stuck in a snowbank in the southwest corner of the lot in the block of 2000 Hills Court.
Morgan didn’t think anyone was inside the smoking van. But upon investigating further, he saw a woman clinging onto her belongings in the driver’s side seat. He opened up the door, pulled her out and dragged her to safety just second before the van exploded into flames.
According to the report filed with the Menomonie Police Department, no other people were inside the vehicle and the fire was extinguished by the Menomonie Fire Department.
The driver of the van, a woman visiting Menomonie from Genoa, had been on her way to pick up her daughter to attend a funeral the following day in Green Bay. She told police she had gotten lost and accidentally drove into the snowbank.
In an attempt to dislodge her van from the snowbank, the vehicle caught fire. She also noted that the vehicle was recently purchased, and there had been warning lights indicating the van needed to be serviced.
Klund said she helped contact the woman’s family to let them know about the incident and that she was unharmed.
“It was totally by chance,” Klund said of the happenstance that put her and Morgan in the right place at the right time.