PERHAM, MN – Two people were killed and another person injured late Wednesday night, June 30, in a truck accident on a highway in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. The deadly collision between a semi trailer truck and passenger car occurred at the intersection of Highway 10 and Otter Tail County Road 80 on the east side of the town of Perham. The truck accident area is in the central west section of the state about 188 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul and about 67 miles southeast of Fargo, North Dakota.
At around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night 29 year old Curtis Sonnek of Princeton, MN was driving a 1996 Ford Conventional semi trailer truck west on Highway 10 in Otter Tail County, MN. At the same time 32 year old Joshua Lawson of Evansville, MN was driving a white 2008 Chevrolet Impala south on Otter Tail County Road 80. Mr. Lawson had two passengers, 9 year old Kara Westhoff who sat in the front passenger seat and 10 year old Luke Westhoff, who sat in the back seat. The children are from Troy, Missouri.
As the truck driver drove on the highway along the east side of the town of Perham the Chevy Impala was stopped at the juncture CR 80 and Highway 10. The semi truck did not have a stop sign and was driving at regular speed when the Impala suddenly pulled onto westbound Highway 10, directly in the path of the 18 wheeler.
The truck driver was unable to slow or maneuver to avoid a collision and slammed broadside into the Impala’s driver’s side door. After the initial collision the semi trailer truck and the passenger car continued for several feet finally came to a rest in the median of Highway 10.
Local police and rescue personnel rushed to the scene of the truck accident. The driver of the Impala, Mr. Lawson, was fatally injured in the collision and died at the scene. The front seat passenger, Miss Westhoff, also suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the crash site. The back seat passenger sustained serious but not life threatening injuries in the truck accident. He was treated and stabilized at the scene and then transported to a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.
The truck driver, Mr. Sonnek, was not injured in the truck accident.
Minnesota State Patrol officers closed off an area surrounding the deadly truck accident site while emergency personnel aided the victims. Other crews were brought in to clear the wreckage of the car and other debris off the highway.
Authorities investigating the collision believe that the Impala driver was at fault for pulling in front of the semi trailer truck. It is not believed drugs or alcohol were factors in the deadly truck accident however tests were administered. Police said all four people involved in the deadly collision were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the truck accident.
No charges have been made at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.
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