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5 transported after head-on collision near Park Rapids

Emergency personnel at left work to free Julie Karl from her overturned Jeep Wednesday night. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)


Five people were transported to the Park Rapids hospital Wednesday night when two vehicles collided head-on east of Park Rapids just before 5:30 p.m.

There were no serious injuries, according to the State Patrol. All five were treated and released from St. Joseph's Area Health Services.

Highway 34 was icy with a coat of snow and sleet when an eastbound 1999 Jeep driven by Julie Karl, 27, of Akeley, "fishtailed, went into the westbound lane, hitting Vehicle 2 head-on," said State Patrol Sgt. Curt Mowers.

The second vehicle was a 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by Ben Oleson, 36, of Alexandria.

Karl was trapped in her vehicle and had to be extricated with the Jaws of Life. She suffered a broken arm. Mowers said.

Oleson and three family members, believed to be his wife and two children, all received minor injuries.

Park Rapids firefighters, the State Patrol, Hubbard County deputies, Park Rapids police and North Memorial ambulance personnel responded.

The accident shut down the highway from County Road 4 to County Road 7 for more than an hour as emergency personnel worked to free Karl from her overturned vehicle in the middle of the highway. Traffic was rerouted.

The minivan ended up in the north ditch.

The accident happened near the Long Lake access, a couple miles east of Park Rapids.

Highway crews were called out for salt and sand. The roadway was so slick emergency personnel had trouble walking around the accident site. Fluids from the Jeep were flushed off the roadway, making the area treacherous.