AITKIN - While on their way to work Tuesday morning, three electricians never expected to accidentally land a stunt fit for a Hollywood movie.

As the men in their work truck approached what from a distance in the early dawn light appeared to be a black hose across Aitkin County Road 4, they realized - too late - the road was actually washed away. Tim Henrichs of Brainerd was driving the truck, and without time to stop, he stepped on the gas and launched the truck across the 3-foot chasm formed by rushing water.

“We walked up to it and it was hard to believe we went over that without getting hurt or anything,” said Brian Oren of Crosby, a passenger in the truck. “We just kept looking at each other like, ‘How in the heck did we make it across that?’”

Oren said after they crossed the washed out stretch of road, more pavement crumbled into the water below. The group measured the gap and found it was 3 feet wide, 8 feet long and 10 feet deep.

After reaching 911 operators after several tries in an area with little cellphone reception, the trio, which also included Brad Hanson of Aitkin, remained stationed at the chasm for about an hour to direct traffic. The men used flashing beacons on their Holden Electric work truck to warn oncoming drivers, and Oren said they turned away about 10 vehicles from the dangerous location. Aitkin County highway crews arrived about 6:30 p.m. to begin repairing the washout.

“I would definitely say, slow down, if there’s heavy rain like that again,” Oren said. “It’s something I’d never experienced, but I’ll never forget that. … It happened so fast, by the time we got to it, it was too late. Thank God we just kind of floated over it.”