Drone helps located injured driver in path of oncoming train in Renville County

A drone helped find a crash victim who was in the path of an oncoming train near Sacred Heart last week.

Just before 6 a.m. Friday, the Renville County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a vehicle that was on fire following a rollover near Highway 212 and 150th St.  Emergency responders found an SUV engulfed in flames at the scene but discovered the vehicle was unoccupied after the fire was extinguished.

A search of the area ensued, and the sheriff’s office utilized a drone to assist with the search.  Soon after it was launched, the man police believe was driving the SUV, Juan Chaparro-Larsen, 37, of Granite Falls, was located along a set of railroad tracks, about one mile west of the crash scene.  Chaparro-Larsen appeared to be in “obvious distress, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Police say Chaparro-Larsen could be seen via the drone collapsing on the railroad tracks as police were en route to his location.  The sheriff’s office contacted the railroad to stop any trains until the matter was resolved.  A train was just two miles from where Chaparro-Larsen had collapsed when the call was made, according to the news release.

Chaparro-Larsen was treated at the scene and later airlifted to a St. Cloud hospital.




More about: