Metro Transit workers credited with saving Minneapolis woman after crash

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Two Metro Transit workers are being hailed as heroes after they rescued a Minneapolis woman trapped in her flipped car and helped calm the chaotic scene.

One of the Metro Transit employees has had extensive first aid training, so it was a good thing he was there when it happened earlier this month.

The woman in the accident walked away with just a few bruises and is so thankful she had help that day.

It was late on a Friday afternoon when Sarah Lornston was driving on Hiawatha Avenue during rush hour.

“Saw traffic was stopped and I stopped and I was just sitting there for a few seconds and I just got nailed by someone in the back and it just kinda hit me at an angle,” Lornston recalled. “And then I clipped the car in front of me and I flipped over.”

At the same time, two Metro Transit workers were heading the opposite direction.

“The first thing I saw was the car completely flipped over, lots of glass on the road, lots of car parts everywhere,” said Claire Warren, a Metro Transit Associate Engineer.

“It was just kind of all sort of a blur and then I realized I was upside down,” Lornston said.

She says she heard voices outside her car. One of those voices belonged to Mark Lanthier, a construction manager for Metro Transit.

“He was really calm and just gave me clear instructions: OK, now unbuckle your seatbelt I’m going to help you out and we’ll walk you to the side of the road. It was just miraculous that he showed up at the time he did,” Lornston said.

Lanthier says there was no hesitation to help.

“Just looked in the car, saw baby stuff, saw a person hanging…just instinct. Reach in and get it done,” he said.

Meanwhile, his colleague, Claire Warren, called 911 and started to direct traffic.

“We had our vests on and looked official and we just started to tell people slow down, you can come through, but be very careful,” said Warren.

Lornston was able to walk away from the accident with just a few bruises and a new perspective on life.

“I’m just so grateful there are people who would take it upon themselves to come and help someone in need, even if it’s not in your job description,” Lornston said.

Everyone involved said nothing like this has ever happened to any of them. Lornston believes her car saved her from more serious injuries and she went out and bought the exact same model after the crash.