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Text message saves life of Minnesota woman trapped upside down in overturned car

ST. HILAIRE, Minn.--Texting and driving can be deadly, but Minnesota state troopers said a cellphone saved a Thief River Falls woman's life Sunday after a car accident in northwest Minnesota left her hanging upside down and unconscious for nearly...

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Emergency responders work Sunday to free Jolene Mammen, Thief River Falls, from a car that went off the road near St. Hilaire, Minn. (MINNESOTA STATE PATROL)
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ST. HILAIRE, Minn.-Texting and driving can be deadly, but Minnesota state troopers said a cellphone saved a Thief River Falls woman's life Sunday after a car accident in northwest Minnesota left her hanging upside down and unconscious for nearly two hours in freezing temperatures. 

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Jolene Mammen, 38, was driving to her job in Grand Forks about 5 a.m. in a 2014 Ford FTU Hatchback on Pembina Trail, a rural blacktop road in Pennington County near St. Hilaire, when the vehicle hit an icy patch on a curve in the road. The vehicle left the road, rolled onto its roof and came to rest in the ditch.

Mammen reportedly lost consciousness for two hours, but when she woke up, she texted "help" to a man the Star Tribune identified as her husband, Jeremy, who then called 911.

Jeremy Mammen found his wife in the overturned vehicle, according to the State Patrol. A trooper arrived at the scene and called an ambulance, who took her to an unspecified hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Because Jolene Mammen was wearing a seat belt, she walked away from the accident with just a broken wrist. The State Patrol cited the cellphone, warm clothes, the seat belt and Jeremy Mammen as heroes of a Valentine's Day story, adding the accident could have ended in tragedy.

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Temperatures stayed in the teens Sunday, though the wind chill could have made it feel colder.

"Much longer, due to the cold, and the outcome could have been different," a post on the State Patrol's Facebook page stated. "This woman's warm clothing helped her withstand the cold and prevented a tragic end to this story."

The Pennington County and Red Lake County sheriff's offices also responded to the incident.

St. Hilaire is about 7 miles south of Thief River Falls.

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