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Blaha, Franzen reveal extent of injuries suffered in crash with semi truck

The state auditor and state senator were driving home from FarmFest.
State Auditor Julie Blaha and Sen. Melisa Franzen.

State Auditor Julie Blaha and Sen. Melisa Franzen.

State Auditor Julie Blaha and Sen. Melisa Franzen say they are OK and recovering after crashing into a semi truck while driving home from FarmFest.

Blaha, 51, was behind the wheel of a Jeep Cherokee just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, with Franzen, 41, in the passenger seat, when it collided with the semi at a Redwood County intersection.

The semi was heading eastbound on Highway 67 at the time, the State Patrol says, while Blaha and Franzen were going south on County Road 13. Google Street View from September of 2014 shows a stop sign for drivers on County Road 13. The State Patrol has not said anything about the circumstances of the crash, only that the vehicles "collided in the intersection."

Franzen on Thursday described the crash as a "rollover collision," adding she was told "the semi driver's maneuvering saved our lives."

Both Blaha and Franzen were taken to Redwood Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Blaha on Thursday revealed she suffered a minor concussion and remained at the hospital overnight.

"I get to go home today because of everyone who helped us on the scene, the first responders, state troopers, and the amazing health care providers at Carris Health Hospital in Redwood Falls. Thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said.

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Franzen, meanwhile, described herself as " bruised, scratched up, and sore, but thankful to be alive."

"I’m grateful to the good samaritans who helped us get out of the vehicle, to the first responders, state troopers, and the team at Carris Health Hospital in Redwood Falls," she said.

Both Blaha and Franzen were wearing a seat belt, as was the 70-year-old semi driver who was uninjured. The State Patrol says alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

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