GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Two weeks ago, Jeffrey Sandoval was amazed to walk away from a devastating accident in Shoreview.
This week, Sandoval -- who doctors say went into diabetic shock minutes before the crash -- now has hope of one day driving again.
"Light at the end of the tunnel, there is a chance I can get behind my wheel," Sandoval said.
One day after Sandoval's story appeared on KARE 11 News, Edina-based Safekey Corporation contacted a KARE 11 reporter saying they believed they have the solution for Sandoval and others just like him.
"Our phones lit up," said Jim Rennie with Safekey Corporation, adding, "This technology saves lives and we're pretty passionate about it."
The technology to which Rennie is referring is the Safekey Ignition Interlock system. Once installed, the system tests a person's blood sugar level -- by gauging his response time -- before that person is allowed to start his vehicle.
"When your blood sugar level is in the upper 60s or below, you can't pass the test, therefore you can't start your car," Rennie said.
The system involves a series of light-up buttons that the driver must press before he can start his car. It also includes an online component that allows loved ones to track a diabetic driver's location and notifies those loved ones if the driver fails the test.
If the person fails three times in a row, he will not be able to start his car for an hour. A loved one can remotely override the lock-out period.
Rennie says the system focuses on behavioral changes, causing diabetic drivers to test before they turn their key.
"It becomes routine of when I'm driving, bad things can happen, and I'm going to test," Rennie said.
For Sandoval, it's a significant change. On Feb. 2, Sandoval went off the road and crashed his Dodge truck into a bridge at I-694 near Rice Rice Street. After the crash, the St. Francis man had expected to give up his career as a professional truck driver. He now may reconsider his plans.
Meantime, Sandoval just wants to help to get the word out to others struggling with diabetes.
"Don't get comfortable because your numbers are okay. Don't take it for granted, you have to be fully aware," Sandoval said.
The Safekey system costs about $500, including installation fees. There is also a monthly service fee. The company has sold the device to about 1,400 customers around the world. They're planning a national campaign in the next couple of months.
To learn more about the Safekey Corporation, just go to: http://www.safekeycorporation.com/
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