MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota State Auditor Julie Blaha and State Sen. Melisa Franzen were both injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon after leaving Farmfest in southwestern Minnesota. Both were hospitalized but expected to be OK.
Donald McFarland, the communications and legislative affairs director for Blaha’s office, says the two Democrats were traveling together after leaving the annual agricultural tradeshow in Redwood County.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the rollover crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 67 and County Road 13. Blaha was driving a Jeep Cherokee southbound on the county road when they collided with a semi traveling eastbound on the highway.
Both Franzen and Blaha were taken to the Redwood Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The semi driver, a 70-year-old man from Franklin, was not hurt in the crash.
On Thursday morning, Franzen posted to Twitter, saying she is OK and is “elated” to know Blaha will be OK, too.
“(Julie Blaha) and I were involved in a rollover collision yesterday on the way home from (Farm Fest). I was told the semi driver’s maneuvering saved our lives. I know it could’ve been worse. I am bruised, scratched up, and sore, but thankful to be alive,” she said.
Franzen continued by thanking the good Samaritans who helped get her and Blaha out of the vehicle, as well as emergency responders and hospital workers.
Friends, I am OK. @julieblaha and I were involved in a rollover collision yesterday on the way home from @MNFarmfest. I was told the semi driver's maneuvering saved our lives. I know it could’ve been worse. I am bruised, scratched up, and sore, but thankful to be alive.
— Melisa López Franzen (@MelisaFranzen) August 5, 2021
According to Blaha’s family, she suffered a minor concussion but is otherwise OK. She was released from the hospital Thursday morning.
“She was impressed with the medical care she received from Redwood Falls hospital and our whole family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from the community,” the family statement said.
On Twitter, Blaha wrote that she an Franzen are waiting for law enforcement to sort out the details of the crash.