New Crash Involving Plow Truck on Deadly Stretch of Highway 61

December 28, 2017 10:51 PM

Two women were hurt in a Thursday morning crash on Highway 61 in Lake County, not far from the scene of a fatal crash last week.

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The crash happened at about 10:30 just north of the Encampment River, which is in Silver Creek Township between the two tunnels. The State Patrol confirmed on Thursday afternoon that one of the vehicles was a MnDOT plow truck.

Witnesses told WDIO that there were two women in a Subaru that crashed, and that one woman was under a portion of the crushed vehicle. However, the witnesses said the women appeared to be alert. Nathan Brink said, "They both said they were ok. One of them thought she had a broken leg. We sure hope they are ok."

According to an update from the State Patrol, both women were taken to hospitals in Duluth with injuries that are not life-threatening. They are Diane Helander, 63, of Finland, and Leanne Buell, 62, of Silver Bay. Both were wearing their seatbelts.

The driver of the snowplow was not hurt. 

The crash site is near where 39-year old Jason Wilkes died in a head-on crash last week. One witness told WDIO that he and a friend were bringing food to Wilkes' funeral when they saw the aftermath of the new crash.

The Minnesota State Patrol and Department of Transportation were limiting traffic to one lane of travel at the crash site, alternately allowing northbound and southbound traffic to pass.


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