Medina man saves life of truck driver

City recognizes Robert Johnstone for doing CPR 

Medina Police Chief Ed Belland thanks Robert Johnstone for using CPR to save the life of a truck driver after a head-on truck collision on Highway 55 on April 23. (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)
Medina Police Chief Ed Belland thanks Robert Johnstone for using CPR to save the life of a truck driver after a head-on truck collision on Highway 55 on April 23. (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

Medina Police Chief Ed Belland and the Medina City Council, Tuesday, Nov. 19, recognized Robert Johnstone “for his life-saving actions in going beyond what’s expected” in the aftermath of an April 23 truck accident.

Belland described the heroic acts of Johnstone, who works for Rockler Corporation in Medina. He said Johnstone from his office “witnessed two semis colliding head on at the intersection of Highway 55 and Willow Drive. Mr. Johnstone ran from his office, located one of the drivers who was incapacitated in his truck, helped move the driver out of the truck, noticed that he was not breathing and there was no heartbeat.

“He began CPR,” Belland said, “and performed CPR until our officers arrived on the scene. The victim was shocked, and before he left the scene, his heartbeat had returned and he was breathing. He was helicoptered to North Memorial and is alive today.”

The City Council passed a resolution recognizing Johnstone for his life-saving actions. The resolution said, “The victim survived this incident due to the actions of Mr. Johnstone.”

Belland presented him with a plaque and said, “Thank you for everything you did and going above and beyond.”

Johnstone said, “Thank you. You are very kind.”

He added, “It certainly was a good thing to run out there and start work, but without the police department, without their professional training, it would have been a different story. I very much appreciate them.”

After thanking Johnstone, the City Council went on to other business. Here are some meeting highlights.


The City Council took quick action to get Internet access for Medina City Hall. Councilors approved a two-year contract with CenturyLink for a digital subscriber line at a cost of roughly $641 per month. The council is asking for the right to buy out the contract after Mediacom constructs broadband infrastructure for connecting City Hall to cable TV and high speed Internet.

City Administrator Scott Johnson said the city’s current phone line contract costs $500 per month.

He said Medina needs to contract with CenturyLink because Mediacom will not get broadband infrastructure to City Hall before the end of the year. Currently, the building is connected to the Internet via a T-1 line provided by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Affairs . However, that service soon will go away. The BCA has been providing the line to give the Police Department access to the Internet, and now the police have moved to their new headquarters at 600 Clydesdale Trail. Police officially began operations there on Nov. 18.

City Councilor John Anderson commented that Mediacom had verbally agreed to provide Internet access to City Hall by the end of the year.

“Because of that, we are in this position,” he said.

The City Hall Internet situation is connected with Medina leaving the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission on Dec. 15. The LMCC is a collaboration of what is, until Dec. 15, a group of 17 member cities who contract with Mediacom for provision of cable TV infrastructure capable of carrying high speed Internet service. Medina is one of several cities that are leaving the LMCC. In Medina’s case, city officials hope that contracting directly with Mediacom will hasten the extension of cable TV infrastructure to under served parts of Medina.

Mediacom was expected to begin infrastructure construction this year. So far the new police and public works facility is the only site that has received the necessary fiber optic cables.

After the meeting, City Administrator Johnson said that Mediacom did not want to construct the City Hall connection separately this year. Instead, the company is planning to connect City Hall at the same time as the surrounding area sometime during the next two years.


The City Council also:

HEARD FROM State Sen. David Osmek as he made the rounds of the 20 city councils in his area. He said he could help Medina with the issue of the proposed Hollydale high voltage power line and transportation issues, such as getting a park-and-ride along Highway 55 in Medina or somewhere to the west.

DIRECTED staff to send a letter to the Metropolitan Council addressing Medina’s concerns about its 2040 population forecasts.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]