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Trooper, area citizens honored with State Patrol awards

ST. PAUL -- Two area citizens and a state trooper were honored Tuesday by the Minnesota State Patrol, during its annual awards presentation.

Each year, the Patrol honors citizens, troopers and State Patrol employees who performed life-saving acts or excelled in a crisis or in efforts to ensure safer Minnesota roads.

Honorees include Trooper Ryan Marthaler, who on Jan. 30, 2009, responded to a report of an attempted suicide in Yellow Medicine County. He woke a man, seated in a running vehicle inside a garage and dragged him into the house. Along with a sheriff's deputy, Marthaler administered oxygen until the ambulance arrived and transported the man to the hospital. He was given the Life Saving Award for his efforts.

Citizens Joseph Hesse and David Stans were presented with the Meritorious Citizenship Awards for their quick response to a May 30, 2009, crash along State Highway 23 near New London. They were nominated by Trooper Joy Illies.

According to the Patrol, the men witnessed a crash around 7:30 a.m. when a vehicle crossed the median, the eastbound lanes and vaulted off a 40-foot rock wall. Stans ran to the vehicle, found the driver unconscious and bleeding badly from a head wound. He returned to his vehicle, got Ziploc bags to cover his hands and a towel and returned to apply pressure to the man's head wound until emergency personnel arrived. Meanwhile, Hesse called for help on a cell phone.

The driver, identified in Tribune files as Darrin Clark Erickson, 24, of Spicer, had to extricated form the vehicle and was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital. Doctors told his family that he would likely have bled to death if the men had not stopped to help him.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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