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UPDATED: Authorities identify victims in rural Cottage Grove crash

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A Hastings man was killed and his passenger was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on Manning Avenue in rural Washington County.


Emergency crews were called at 3:08 p.m. on a report of a single-car accident along Manning Avenue/Highway 95 north of 70th Street, Cottage Grove police and the State Patrol said. One of the occupants was ejected from the vehicle, a 2002 Honda Passport, which stopped on its side in a farm field on the east side of the road

The driver, identified by the Minnesota State Patrol as a 26-year-old Hastings man, Christopher Fontaine, was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers reported he was not wearing a seat belt.

Fontaine graduated from Hastings High School in 2003.

The passenger, Nicholas Peterson, a 22-year-old Hastings man who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with serious injuries, the State Patrol said. He is in critical condition.

Alcohol was not detected on either occupant of the vehicle.

No road intersects with Manning Avenue at the crash site.

Authorities from Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Washington County, Hastings and the State Patrol responded.

A LifeLink emergency helicopter that had been called to the scene was later called off.

Troopers started a crash reconstruction shortly after the crash. The State Patrol said Thursday the vehicle lost control and rolled in the ditch.

Check back for updates as more information is released.

Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
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