A man's quick thinking may have saved the life of a Metro Mobility driver trapped in her van after it was struck by an out-of-control semitrailer Friday morning on Interstate 35W.
Caley Emerson was near the front of blocked traffic on I-35W in Roseville, near Highway 36, when he saw the van wedged against the burning semi.
Emerson quickly hooked a tow strap to the disabled van and pulled the vehicle away from the crash site with his pickup after realizing the van's driver was too injured to move, said State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske.
"He absolutely put himself in danger," Roeske said. "We're very thankful that Mr. Emerson was there and recognized the situation, recognized the danger that this driver was in and thought quickly and acted quickly and likely saved a life."
Emerson, 30, from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, declined Roeske's invitation to speak to the media about his actions.
Emerson didn't want additional recognition for doing what anyone else in a similar situation would do, Roeske said.
Other people likely helped at the scene but officials haven't had time to contact them, Roeske added.
Three people were injured, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. Investigators have not determined yet what caused the semitrailer driver to lose control.