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Minnesota National Guard
South Haven man rescues 1 driver; crash kills another

SGT David Baxley KIMBALL, Minn- The Minnesota State Patrol is crediting a good Samaritan from South Haven for saving a driver involved in a fiery crash Thursday morning that killed a St Cloud woman

The Minnesota State Patrol said the crash happened at 5:54 am on Minnesota Highway 15 at 150th Street A Dodge Caravan was traveling north on Highway 15 and tried to pass a car when it collided head-on with a Mercury Marquis that was traveling south on Highway 15, according to the patrol

The Mercury also ended up in the ditch The patrol hasn't released the name of the driver who died, but said she was 37

After the collision, the Caravan veered to the right, went into the ditch and rolled, resting on its roof before catching fire

David Baxley was driving by and stopped to help, pulling Alex T Jacobson, 22, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, from the burning Caravan

"Thank goodness Mr Baxley was in the right place at the right time and made a huge difference by stepping in, risking his own life to save another person," said Sgt Jesse Grabow of the State Patrol

Baxley, 28, a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, said he was on his way to work at Camp Ripley when he saw debris in the road and damaged vehicles nearby He saw flames coming out of the Caravan and heard calls for help

"I made my way to the car, cut his seat belt and dropped him out of the car and got him out," Baxley said later in the day Baxley grabbed Jacobson by his collar and pulled him 50 feet from the Caravan

"By the time I dragged him from the car and we turned back around, that whole cab was rolling in flames," Baxley said

Baxley stayed with Jacobson until an ambulance took him to St Cloud Hospital for treatment of injuries that authorities described as serious

Baxley said his military training helped him know what to do He had never saved a life before Thursday, he said, but he is prepared to do it again

Times staffers David Brakke and Sue Halena contributed to this report Follow David Unze on Twitter @sctimesunze or contact him at 255-8740

October 3, 2014
David Unze
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"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

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