MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A four-vehicle crash brought traffic to a stop on a busy metro freeway during the Friday morning commute.

According to State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske, a semi-truck was traveling southbound on I-35W just before 6:30 a.m. when the driver lost control. The driver hit a guard rail and then jackknifed, blocking the northbound lane of 35W.

A Metro Mobility van, truck and another van then crashed into the semi-truck, which started on fire a short time later. The driver of the Metro Mobility van was unable to get out of the vehicle.

Thirty-four-year-old Caley Emerson of Grand Rapids was on his way to work when he saw the crash.

Emerson acted quickly to pull the injured driver to safety. He hooked a tow strap onto the van and pulled it away from the burning semi with his pick-up truck.

“I just did what anyone else would do,” Emerson said.

Roeske said Emerson’s actions likely saved her life.

“When you have a situation evolving rapidly, we can’t always get there in time and we’re thankful Mr. Emerson was there, recognized the situation, recognized danger this driver was in and though quickly and likely saved a life,” Roeske said.

The woman was rushed to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the semi-truck and the other truck involved in the crash were also taken to the hospital.

No passengers were on the Metro Mobility van.


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