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Four injured in Hubbard County head-on crash

This Jetta was heavily damaged in the crash. FORUM NEWS SERVICE/Sarah Smith

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. – Four people were transported to the Park Rapids hospital late Monday afternoon after two vehicles collided head-on at a busy intersection east of Akeley.

The crash backed up traffic on Highway 34 as emergency crews and ambulances descended on the scene.

An accident reconstruction is underway to determine the cause of why a westbound Jeep Grand Cherokee and a southbound Volkswagon Jetta collided at the intersection of Highway 64 east of Akeley, a T-intersection. Apparently the Jeep was turning left into traffic on Highway 34, the Patrol believes.

The Jeep ended up westbound in the eastbound ditch of the highway. The heavily damaged Jetta was at the intersection.

Crews were making plans Monday night to airlift the driver of the Jeep, Jacob Kruecheberg, 20, of Nevis, to a Fargo hospital.

His passenger, Logan Ellenson, 20, of Park Rapids, was also injured. Both suffered head injuries.

Two persons in the Jeep, driver Wassana Kiewnoi, 33, of Akeley, and passenger Meena Claristta, 43, of unknown origin, were taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Area Health Services with head injuries.

The Patrol said the crash was not alcohol-related.

That was just one of dozens of crashes officers, ambulance personnel and wreckers responded to Monday.

“It’s been nuts,” said a State Patrol trooper.

The Patrol, Hubbard County, North Memorial Ambulance and First Responders from two locations converged on the Akeley crash.

Hubbard County deputies directed traffic from both ways around the accident, one lane at a time. They were still there nearly 90 minutes after the 4 p.m. crash.

All four victims were wearing safety belts, which the Patrol believes lessen the impact of the collision.

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Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364