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19-year-old found in car died from crash injuries

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MOORHEAD - A 19-year-old Moorhead man who was found dead in a crashed stolen car Tuesday died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, police said Wednesday.

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Preliminary autopsy results also indicate alcohol was present in the system of Russell Dean Thompson III, but at what level isn't known. Toxicology results could take several weeks, Moorhead Police Lt. Tory Jacobson said.

Thompson was found Tuesday afternoon in a Nissan Maxima that had crashed into a grove of trees next to Drywall Supply Central at 3003 41st St. S., near the intersection of 34th Street and Old Highway 52 in Moorhead's industrial park.

Police said the car had been reported stolen out of Dilworth at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, and they believe it had been in the grove of trees for some time before being discovered.

Tire marks and tracks suggest the car veered off a curve on 34th Street South, jumped the curb and crossed a grassy patch before stopping in the trees with tall grass around it, hiding it from view.

The Minnesota State Patrol was expected on scene Wednesday to reconstruct the accident.

Family members of Thompson, including his mother, who gathered Wednesday at the home where he had been staying in Moorhead's Ridgewood neighborhood declined to comment. Friends and family members paid their respects on a Facebook page set up in his memory.

Thompson's father, Russell Dean Thompson Jr., died at age 34 in a traffic accident Aug. 30, 2005, on Highway 75 near Georgetown.

The Georgetown man who was driving the car that struck Thompson's vehicle was sentenced to four years in prison for leaving the scene of criminal vehicular homicide, according to Forum archives.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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