LAKEVILLE, Minn. - A Minnesota State Patrol trooper continues to recover from multiple broken bones following a horrific crash in Lakeville Tuesday afternoon.
From his hospital bed Wednesday, Sgt. Mike Krukowski, 35, of Oakdale, thank the public for all its support.
"Hey everyone. Thank you for your prayers and support and (I'm) looking forward to getting out of the hospital and -- it'll be a bit of a journey but on the way to recovery," he said in the video published on social media Wednesday afternoon. A tweet from the Minnesota State Patrol says he has a broken arm and broken bones in his feet. He's undergone at least one surgery.
The crash happened late Tuesday afternoon on a frontage road off Interstate 35, on Kenrick Avenue near 205th Street right outside Marek’s Towing and Repair.
The Minnesota State Patrol reports a 2012 Chrysler 200 was speeding northbound on I-35 when it veered off the road to the right, went through the freeway fence and struck Trooper Krukowski's vehicle head-on.
The driver of the car, a 29-year-old Lakeville man, was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. His latest condition is unknown as of Wednesday afternoon.
Sgt. Krukowski is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center.
“This could have easily been a fatal crash for both drivers, it was not, and we are grateful for that,” Lt. Tiffani Nielsen, Minnesota State Patrol spokesperson, said a short time after the crash.
Chris Marek and another employee were working at Marek's Towing when they heard a “bang.”
Marek’s family towing business regularly responds to highway crashes, cleaning up scenes for the Minnesota State Patrol, but never has a trooper needed help right in front of their door.
“Generally would have been on scene anyways, but luckily it was in front of us and we were able to have a first responder role,” said Marek.
Marek called 911 and realized the trooper in the totaled SUV was pinned but able to radio for help himself. Marek waited with the trooper and the other injured driver until firefighters arrived. He said a nurse walking in the area also rushed to help.
“When I got a second, I texted my wife and said you never know what is going to happen. A trooper was on his way home from a long day, and he had no idea. I guess the moral of the story, hold your loved ones close,” said Marek.