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News briefs, June 10

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Hastings, 55033

Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

The Minnesota State Patrol has charged Wilbert Hicks Jr., 34, Hastings, with three counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection with a July 11, 2003, accident in Denmark Township that seriously injured three people.

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According to the complaint, State Patrol troopers were dispatched to a head-on accident on Highway 61, approximately 1/4 mile south of Highway 10.

When the trooper arrived at the scene, he found a heavily damaged red Suburu. The driver, later identified as Hicks, was in the vehicle but was injured. Two juvenile passengers in the vehicles were injured. The driver of the other vehicle, Jason John Martin, and three passengers were also injured in the accident.

Martin told the trooper that he had been traveling northbound on Highway 61 when Hicks, who had been traveling southbound on Highway 61, suddenly spun into Martin's lane.

Hicks was taken by air ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

A blood sample was taken at the hospital, and the analysis revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .26.

Two witnesses told the State Patrol that there was no way for Martin to avoid being hit.

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