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13-year-old crashes car in Duluth, with tragic results

Members of the Lakewood Fire Department and other rescue personnel extricate one of the victims in the car crash on Jean Duluth Road just north of Beyer Road on Wednesday morning. (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)

Two teenage boys were listed in critical condition and one in fair condition after a 13-year-old took his parents' vehicle without their permission and crashed when he drove off Jean Duluth Road about 9 a.m., Wednesday the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office reported.

The accident occurred with the boy driving southbound on Jean Duluth near its intersection with Beyer Road.

St. Louis County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bernie Mettler said the boy was driving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am and apparently was trying to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone on a hill. To avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle, the boy veered into the ditch, lost control and struck a tree.

Emergency crews were forced to use extrication equipment to remove the car's occupants.

The car's tracks could be seen for several hundred feet along the embankment before the car crashed into popple trees.

The 13-year old driver, Michael Stemper, and 16-year-old passenger, Bradely Timo, were listed in critical condition, and passenger, Brandon Mudrack, 14, was in fair condition, authorities said.

The Duluth-area boys were not wearing seatbelts. The State Patrol is investigating the accident and it hadn't yet been determined how fast the vehicle was being driven.

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