State Patrol to honor two Meeker County residents
ST. PAUL -- Two Meeker County men will receive awards today from the Minnesota State Patrol for their help during emergencies. Gary Prieve of Litchfield and John Von Eschen of rural Darwin will be presented Meritorious Citizenship Awards at the a...
ST. PAUL -- Two Meeker County men will receive awards today from the Minnesota State Patrol for their help during emergencies.
Gary Prieve of Litchfield and John Von Eschen of rural Darwin will be presented Meritorious Citizenship Awards at the annual Minnesota State Patrol award ceremony in Eagan.
The ceremony honors State Patrol employees and citizens who have performed lifesaving acts or who have excelled in efforts to ensure a safe environment on Minnesota roadways.
Prieve was nominated by Trooper Jeff Schroepfer for helping him during an arrest.
Prieve's company, Gary's Towing, was called to tow a vehicle at 1:55 a.m. July 10 after the State Patrol made a driving while intoxicated arrest, according to the State Patrol. As Prieve was hooking up the truck, another person walked up and tried to take it.
When Schroepfer confronted the man, he tried to run and then fought with him. Prieve then assisted with getting the man under control and handcuffed. Because the altercation took place in the middle of the highway, Prieve could very easily been hurt, according to the State Patrol.
Von Eschen was nominated by Sgt. Eric Mathwig after rescuing a man from a burning vehicle.
On Dec. 14, 2004, Von Eschen was on his morning school bus route on state Highway 22 south of Litchfield when he had to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision with a vehicle being driven by a man who was suffering from a diabetic reaction, according to the State Patrol. After avoiding the crash, he watched the other vehicle enter the ditch.
Von Eschen turned his bus around and returned to the scene. Seeing the rear of the vehicle engulfed in flames, he notified his dispatcher, parked his bus on the shoulder and went to the burning vehicle. The driver was still in it.
Seeing the driver's door open, Von Eschen pulled the man out as the rear seat became fully engulfed in flames, according to the Patrol. With the help of another bystander, he pulled the man safely to the roadside.
In his nomination, Mathwig said Von Eschen saved the man's life and set an outstanding example for the children who were on his bus at the time.