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Driver going wrong way injures 4 near Bemidji

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Driver going wrong way injures 4 near Bemidji
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

A four-vehicle accident near Bemidji left an Ada, Minn., woman in critical condition Wednesday evening, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

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Andrea Konoske Waagen, 27, and her passenger Delsie E. Konoske, 63, also Ada, were two of five involved. Konoske suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Others involved suffered either minor or no injuries.

Officers initially responded around 8:40 p.m. to complaints that Chad E. Westrum, 39, Solway, Minn., was driving the wrong way and forcing other drivers off the road. His 1998 Chevy Tahoe was reportedly southbound in the northbound lane of state Highway 89. Then he turned on U.S. Highway 2, a divided highway, heading east in a westbound lane.

About three miles west of Bemidji, Westrum struck the side of a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback with Jeremy A. Rauch, 40, Guthrie, Minn., behind the wheel. Rauch appeared to have not been injured.

Westrum then struck a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero head on. Waagen was driving the Alero with Delsie E. Konoske, 63, Ada, in the passenger seat.

Westrum's and Waagen's vehicles were totaled, blocking both lanes of U.S. 2.

A Beltrami County sheriff's deputy, Robert J. Fraik, 29, in a 2009 Dodge Charger sideswiped the rear of Westrum's vehicle before entering the ditch.

Westrum suffered minor injury. Fraik was treated and released.

The State Patrol said the incident is under investigation and Westrum is in the Beltrami County jail.

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