State Lawmaker Says Trucker’s Driving Skills ‘Saved Our Lives’ in Rollover Crash

Redwood County, MN – A Minnesota state lawmaker is crediting a trucker for saving her life after she was injured in a rollover crash in rural Redwood County this week.

Melisa López Franzen (D), 41, and State Auditor Julie Blaha, 51, were traveling southbound in a Jeep Cherokee on County Road 13 just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP).


For reasons not released by officials, the Jeep — driven by Blaha — approached a two-way stop at an intersection along State Highway 67 when it collided with an eastbound semi-truck operated by Patrick Crain, 70, of Franklin, MN.

MSP’s preliminary report did not give information about which vehicle had the right of way or indicate who was at fault.

However, Franzen later took to Twitter to credit Crain for saving the women’s lives.

“I was told the semi driver’s maneuvering saved our lives,” she wrote.

Blaha’s office said the two Democrats were traveling together after leaving the annual agricultural trade show known as “Farmfest” in southwestern Minnesota.


Both Franzen and Blaha were hospitalized for observations but neither sustained serious injuries.

Crain was uninjured.

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MSP reported road conditions at the time of the crash were “good,” and Crain, Franzen and Blaha were all wearing seat belts.

Additionally, impairment has been ruled out as a factor.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

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