Drone finds driver injured in western Minnesota crash

June 26, 2023

Mike Tanner

SACRED HEART, Minn. – An aerial drone likely saved a man’s life after he was spotted injured lying on railroad tracks in western Minnesota’s Renville County.

Sheriff Scott Hable says the incident began with a report of a rollover accident one mile west of Sacred Heart, Minnesota near Highway 212 and 150th Street.

Officers arrived to find a crashed, burning vehicle with the driver nowhere in sight.

It was determined that the injured driver, identified as 37 year-old Juan Chaparro-Larsen of Granite Falls, had likely wandered away, and he was spotted collapsed on railroad tracks a mile west of the  crash scene by a drone.

A train that was heading towards Chaparro-Larsen was stopped, and he was airlifted to a St. Cloud hospital.

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash.