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Minn. man, 75, dies, three teens injured in crash on icy Highway 71 near Bemidji


BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A 75-year-old Park Rapids man has died and three teenagers were injured in a crash on an icy, snow-covered state Highway 71 about 16 miles south of Bemidji.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2002 Subaru Legacy driven by Elise Sikes, 18, of Hudson, Wis., was driving south on U.S. Highway 71 Thursday morning about 9:50 a.m when it lost control and collided with a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle heading north driven by the 75-year-old man.

In addition to Sikes, the Subaru had two passengers,  Marta Christensen, 18, also of Hudson, Wis., and Saketh Rajendran, 19, of Brooklyn Park, Minn. According to the Patrol, Christensen was taken to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and Rajendran was taken to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn.,  with his injuries that were also non-life-threatening. Sikes wasn’t hospitalized.

The Park Rapids man, whose identity wasn’t released,  was the sole occupant of his vehicle.