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2 suffer serious injuries in Benton County crash

2 suffer serious injuries in Benton County crash Photo: File

May 17, 2019 01:52 PM

The Benton County Sheriff's Office reports two people suffered serious injuries and had to be extricated from their vehicles following a head-on crash in Sauk Rapids Township Wednesday.

A release said deputies were dispatched to the 800 block of 35th Street NE around 9:30 p.m. There, they found a 2000 Mazda B2500 pickup with significant front-end damage stopped on 35th Street NE facing east in the westbound lane. A 2002 Saturn SL coupe with significant front-end damage was found facing south, partially in the eastbound lane and partially in the ditch.

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The release said 57-year-old Lonnie Wayne Noponen of Sartell had been driving the pickup and a 16-year-old Rice girl had been driving the coupe. There were no passengers in either vehicle. Both Noponen and the girl were transported by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital.

The sheriff's office said preliminary investigation indicates the pickup crossed over the center line and collided with the coupe.

The release said deputies are investigating the cellphones of both drivers to determine whether distracted driving was a factor in the crash. In addition, a search warrant was obtained for a blood draw on Noponen because several prescription medications were found in his vehicle, the release states.

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