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Two people were injured during two separate Renville County crashes on Highway 212 this weekend.

In the first one, on Friday just before 6 a.m., law enforcement received a 911 call reporting a one-vehicle rollover, near Highway 212 and 150th Street, about one mile west of Sacred Heart.

The Renville County Sheriff’s Office states that emergency responders found a 2005 Buick Rendezvous on the road, engulfed in flames. After extinguishing the fire, crews discovered no  occupants inside the vehicle, and searched the area. A Renville County Sheriff’s Office drone was brought in. Using infra-red imaging technology, a male, later identified as 37-year-old Juan A.  Chaparro-Larsen, of Granite Falls, was  located along the Twin Cities & Western (TC&W) Railroad tracks, approximately one mile west of  the crash scene, in obvious distress. 

While still in the UAV’s camera view, and as emergency crews were responding, he collapsed on the railroad tracks. TC&W Railroad was contacted and asked to  stop any trains in the area until the situation was resolved. Law enforcement officers and EMS  providers reached Chaparro-Larsen, and he was treated by Granite Falls  Ambulance staff. Chaparro-Larsen was later flown from the scene to the St. Cloud Hospital via  LifeLink III helicopter. 

It was later learned that at the time that TC&W Railroad was contacted and asked to halt train  traffic in the area, they did have a train east of Sacred Heart, traveling westbound toward the  incident. TC&W were able to stop the train in Sacred Heart, about two miles away from the  incident. 

Agencies responding to and assisting at the scene included the Renville County Sheriff’s Office,  Minnesota State Patrol, Sacred Heart Fire Department, Sacred Heart Medical Response Unit  (MRU), Granite Falls Ambulance and Life Link III air ambulance.  

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash.

In the second crash, on Saturday morning, two vehicles collided near 520th Street. A 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Carson John Gustafson, age 17, of Inver Grove Heights was westbound on Highway 212. Another vehicle, a 2013 Dodge Ram driven by an unidentified 16 year old male, was following, and the two vehicles collided on wet roads.

Matthew John Milner, age 17, of Inver Grove Heights, a passenger in Gustafson’s vehicle, was taken to the hospital in Glencoe with non-life threatening injuries. Assisting on the scene were the Renville County Sheriff’s Office and Buffalo Lake Ambulance.