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Sen. Melisa Franzen, Auditor Julie Blaha released from hospital after rollover crash

State Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, and State Auditor Julie Blaha had traveled to Farmfest event Wednesday.

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ST. PAUL — Both Minnesota elected officials injured in a rollover crash Wednesday have been released from the hospital, according to statements by each Thursday, Aug. 5.

State Auditor Julie Blaha said she suffered a “minor concussion,” and state Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, said she was “bruised, scratched up, and sore, but thankful to be alive.”

The two Democrats were driving back to the Twin Cities after attending the Farmfest agricultural expo, an annual lure for politicians looking to connect with rural voters or farming interests.

According to a preliminary State Patrol report, Blaha, 51, was driving her Jeep Cherokee with Franzen, 41, as a passenger when it collided with a semi truck around 5 p.m. at a rural intersection in Redwood County in southwestern Minnesota.

The airbags of the Jeep deployed, and both women, who were wearing seat belts, were taken to the Redwood Falls hospital. The 70-year-old driver of the semi was uninjured. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor, according to the report.

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The report doesn’t mention the rollover, but both women did in their statements.

“We are fortunate to have sustained minimal injury from our rollover accident after departing Farmfest,” she said, in part, in a Twitter thread. “I remained overnight in the hospital for a minor concussion and I’m heading home.”

In her own Twitter thread, Franzen credited the semi driver’s skills.

“@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.”

Both women praised first responders, passers-by and hospital staff and extended gratitude to well wishers.

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