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Grand Rapids man saves bus driver trapped in fiery Twin Cities wreck

ROSEVILLE, Minn. - A Grand Rapids man is being called a hero, credited with saving the life of a bus driver after a fiery four-vehicle crash Friday morning in the Twin Cities.

Authorities said that Caley Emerson, 30, came upon the accident scene on Interstate 35W in Roseville and saw the driver of a mini-bus used to transport disabled clients was trapped after it and a tractor-trailer collided.

Emerson grabbed a tow strap, attached it to his pickup truck and pulled the bus away from the flaming truck.

“We’re very thankful Mr. Emerson was there and recognized the situation and the danger this driver was in, and thought quickly and acted quickly to likely save this driver’s life,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Roeske said he asked Emerson to attend a news conference about the accident, but Emerson said he only did what anyone else would have done and declined the invitation.

A Patrol accident report indicated the bus driver, Rochelle Gunn, 38, of St. Paul, was hospitalized. Also taken to the hospital was the driver of a van, Gregory Hovey, 55, of Oakdale. The patrol said both had non-life threatening injuries.

The report said a semi-trailer truck went across the interstate median and collided with the bus. A truck and Hovey's van then hit the other two vehicles.

The bus had no passengers. A Roseville fire official said it took 15 minutes to free Gunn after Emerson pulled the bus from the accident scene.

The crash closed the interstate from when it occurred at 6:28 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Roeske said it was not clear why the truck driver lost control of his rig.

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