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Minnesota roundup: Head-on crash kills Pequot Lakes man; 5 more state news stories

Minnesota State Trooper and commercial vehicle inspector Sgt. Jim Baillif examines the logging truck involved in the fatal crash south of Pequot Lakes Thursday. Steve Kohls/ Forum News Service

PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. — One of the most horrendous crash scenes area law enforcement officers said they have ever seen in their career occurred Thursday when a semitrailer and Ford truck crashed head-on, ignited into flames, and killed a driver.

A 60-year-old Pequot Lakes man was killed in the crash, which was reported at 6:31 a.m. on Highway 371, south of Pequot Lakes in Sibley Township in Crow Wing County. His name was still not released late Thursday night.

"This was one of the worse accidents I have seen for awhile," Pequot Lakes Police Chief Eric Klang said of the fatality. "Especially on this road. The vehicles hit just right where it caused a fire."

Capt. Scott Goddard of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, said the sheriff's office sent a number of deputies and investigators to assist the state patrol on scene and to assist with traffic control.

"I have been to a great number of crashes throughout the years and this was definitely a tragic event," Goddard said.

The Minnesota State Patrol had a district investigator, a crash reconstruction specialist, a commercial vehicle inspector and two road troopers on scene to investigate the crash.

The state patrol reported the Pequot Lakes man was driving a 1998 Ford truck north on Highway 371, when the Ford hit a concrete barrier on the right and went across the highway in the southbound lane, hitting a 1998 Peterbilt semitrailer head-on. The semitrailer was a logging truck that wasn't loaded.

Few details on inmate who died in Northwest Minnesota jail

CROOKSTON, Minn.—Administrators are releasing few details about a Polk County jail prisoner who died last weekend.

Paramedics responded Thursday to the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston for a medical emergency, said Andrew Larson, executive director of Tri-County Community Corrections, which oversees the jail. Jail staff performed life-saving measures on the inmate, but he died last weekend after being taken to a local hospital, Larson said.

Administrators have not released the inmate's name or cause of death. The incident is under investigation.

Larson said he could release only a limited amount of information. He said he didn't want to speculate on when more information would be released to the public.

Minnesota lake businesses must take aquatic invasive species training

ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species training to owners of lake service provider businesses, so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Lake service provider businesses include resorts, outfitters and campgrounds that rent or lease boats and other water-related equipment. Business owners must attend training, apply for a permit and pay a $50 application fee every three years to comply with Minnesota law.

When the law and permit began in 2012, it applied only to some resorts and outfitters, along with businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire, said April Rust, DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator.

The law was updated in 2013 to include any businesses that rent any type of boats or other water-related equipment.

"That means resorts and campgrounds that offer equipment to their guests like pontoons, fishing boats or kayaks and canoes as a part of their stay, need training on AIS and this permit," she said.

Eleven AIS training sessions are planned around the state starting this month, and a new online training will be available in March. A listing all 2017 training sessions is available at

Less than 5 percent of Minnesota lakes are on the infested waters list.

To register for training or for more information, visit the DNR website at

Woman injured after truck rolls on top of her

KITTSON COUNTY, Minn. — A 20-year-old woman was taken to the hospital after a truck rolled on top of her Wednesday night.

The Minnesota State Patrol says Tierny Knapp of Lancaster, Minn., was going south on Highway 75 just outside of Humboldt, Minn., around 9 p.m.

She lost control, slid onto the shoulder and rolled. The truck ended up on its wheels with Knapp underneath.

She was taken to Altru Hospital, but is expected to recover.

Montevideo baby death ruled homicide

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — The January death of a Montevideo 11-day-old baby is now being investigated as a homicide, police said Thursday. Feb. 16.

In a news release, Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher said the baby died Jan. 18 at the Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office has identified the baby as Cassius Charles Ironheart-Proell.

Ironheart-Proell had been transported to the Montevideo hospital by family around 10 p.m. Rescue attempts by hospital staff were unsuccessful.

According to the boy's obituary, he was born Jan. 7 in Montevideo, the son of Demi Smith and Adam Proell.

An autopsy at the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Anoka followed, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was called in to assist with the investigation.

In the news release, Christopher said the joint investigation by the police department and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension "is in its early stages." Police have not arrested anyone in connection with the baby's death.

"There is no public safety threat to the general public," Christopher said.

Jury finds man guilty in drive-by shooting

DULUTH, Minn.—A 47-year-old Duluth man was convicted Thursday of four counts of aiding and abetting second-degree attempted murder in the September drive-by shooting in Hermantown that injured one person.

Robert John Lund also was convicted in State District Court in Duluth of four counts of aiding and abetting drive-by shooting and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A St. Louis County jury deliberated approximately four hours before returning the verdict Thursday.

Lund is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23.

In January, Denzel Sheldon Perrin, 20, of Superior, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of drive-by shooting in the same case. He was sentenced Monday to 7½ years in prison for his role in the crime.

Perrin admitted that he and Lund fired a handgun into a group of four people standing outside a residence on Sept. 24. Police said the incident was precipitated by a confrontation earlier that night and by an ongoing social media feud.