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Five die in several Brainerd area car accidents

Five people died in three different crashes on Brainerd area roadways in the past week.

Two of the fatalities were on Highway 210 west of Brainerd, where two separate accidents resulted in the deaths of a Pequot Lakes area woman, a Brainerd man and a Fargo, N.D., woman. A third crash killed a 17-year-old in Wadena. And a fourth accident on Highway 371 north of Baxter resulted in the death of a Brainerd woman.

The first accident claimed the lives of both drivers - James E. Freeman, 51, Brainerd, and Marilyn M. Rich, 66, Fargo, N.D. - and was reported at 12:22 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, on Highway 210 and 25th Avenue Southwest between Pillager and Baxter.

Rich's spouse, Gene A. Rich, 81, who was sitting in the front seat, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale with serious injuries. The hospital Sunday, Jan. 24, reported he was in fair condition.

The State Patrol reported the Cobalt that Freeman was driving crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the Toyota Prius that Marilyn Rich was driving. The State Patrol said the highway was dry at the time of the crash.

The second accident was reported about 6:14 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, on Highway 210 and Knollwood Drive in Baxter. Teresa Goldberg, 51, of the Pequot Lakes area and driving a Ford Fusion, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center where she later died.

The other driver, Kristian Haymaker, 19, Baxter, driving a Dodge Ram, was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and the airbags in Goldberg's vehicle deployed, based on the preliminary investigation. Authorities said Goldberg apparently was attempting to turn west onto Highway 210 from Knollwood Drive. Haymaker was eastbound on Highway 210, and the vehicles collided.

A third two-vehicle crash at 4:26 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, just north of the Wadena city limits on Leaf River Road killed Samuel Scott Kelderman, 17, Wadena. Authorities said Kelderman was traveling south in a 2006 Chevy Impala on Leaf River Road when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with a 2011 Ford F150 driven by Gregory Emil Marjamaa, 40, Menahga, who was northbound on Leaf River Road.

Kelderman was transported to Tri County Hospital where he later died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Marjamaa and his two passengers were treated on scene and released but later transported themselves to Tri County Hospital for treatment.

And Rosemary M. Potvin, 91, Brainerd, died Monday, Jan. 25, at St. Cloud Hospital as a result of injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash at 11:43 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, on Highway 371 and Barbeau Road, north of Baxter, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

Potvin was traveling east in a Buick Lesabre on Barbeau Road and Walter M. Gren, 41, Andover, was driving a Chevy Silverado south on Highway 371. The State Patrol said the Buick failed to yield and vehicles met in the intersection. Gren and his two passengers had no apparent injuries. His passengers were Yuriy G. Grabar, 51, and Vera Grabar, 46, both of Coon Rapids.

The State Patrol reported the road conditions were wet.

At 3:44 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reported the Cass County Sheriff's Office received a report of a one-vehicle rollover on County Road 2 in Pine River Township, west of the city of Pine River.

Deputies arrived and found a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria passenger car had left the roadway and rolled. The driver, Isabel Scharff , 31, Pine River, was transported to Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd with minor injuries. The roadway was slippery at the time of the crash.

Assisting at the scene was the Pine River Fire Department and North Ambulance.

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