ATV driver dies after collision in west-central Minnesota

BELGRADE, Minn. (FNS) — A 76-year-old man died at St. Cloud Hospital from injuries sustained in a side-by-side off-road vehicle crash Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, near Belgrade in west-central Minnesota.

Daniel Schwieters was driving a 2002 Polaris Ranger southbound on County Road 175 and was turning left onto 265th Street around 7:53 a.m. when he was struck from behind by a 2002 Ford Explorer. Schwieters was ejected from the ATV and sustained a severe head injury, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said.

The driver of the Explorer, Juan Hernandez Martinez, 27, of Melrose was evaluated and released at the scene.

The sheriff’s report said Schwieters appeared not to be wearing the vehicle’s supplied seat belt.

Belgrade is 25 miles north of Willmar.

Missouri River Basin runoff second-highest in history

MINOT, N.D (FNS) — The second-highest runoff ever recorded in the Missouri River Basin was increased again this week as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their latest projections, the Minot Daily News reported.

Significant rainfall boosted the September forecast to 54.6 million acre-feet of water, an increase of 1.7 million acre-feet from a month earlier.

The September outlook issued by the Corps for the Missouri River Basin is 215% of average, exceeded only by the record runoff of 61.0 million acre-feet in the historic flood year of 2011. Most of the water entering the system is occurring downstream from North Dakota, limiting the impact on water levels in Lake Sakakawea, which has been declining for several weeks.

Lake Sakakawea stood at 1,847.7 feet Wednesday, Aug. 4, following a peak elevation near 1,852 feet earlier this summer.

Northeast Minn. man indicted in Christmas murder

HIBBING, Minn. (FNS) — A Hibbing man has been indicted on a premeditated first-degree murder charge in a fatal shooting last Christmas.

The indictment against 30-year-old Jerome Dionte Spann was levied by a grand jury last week, according to court records.

Spann already was facing charges of intentional second-degree murder and second-degree assault in the Dec. 25 shooting that killed 34-year-old Jeryel Octavious McBeth and injured 25-year-old Jamien Quartez Stuckey. But he’s now facing mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the premeditated charge.

According to an earlier criminal complaint, McBeth was standing outside a Hibbing residence with several others when Spann and another man exited a nearby SUV shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Spann allegedly shot McBeth three times in the chest, shoulder and forearm, the complaint alleges. Spann continued shooting four or five rounds, striking Stuckey and nearly hitting another man. Spann immediately fled the scene, according to the complaint.

McBeth was taken by ambulance to Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing, where he was pronounced dead. Stuckey’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was treated at Fairview Range Medical Center and released.

Spann was arrested Dec. 28 at a residence in St. Paul.

Minn. traffic deaths increase during ‘100 deadliest days’

ST. PAUL — Traffic fatalities rose this summer in Minnesota, though the increase cannot be directly pinned on alcohol or speed-related crashes, which both showed decreases from a year ago, data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety revealed.

In what state officials call the “100 deadliest days” on Minnesota roadways, the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day resulted in 132 deaths, up from 123 during the same period in 2018. Twenty-two vehicle occupants who were not wearing their seat belts died compared to 18 a year ago.

The summer was marked by one of the deadliest accidents the state has ever recorded when six people were killed in a head-on crash near Rochester. At least three were not wearing seat belts, the State Patrol report said.

At least 10 deaths were attributed to distractions, compared with nine a year ago. Speed-related fatalities were down five at 27, and the alcohol-related traffic deaths were down to 32 from 44 in 2018, the Department of Public Safety report said.

The 132 fatalities make up 57% of all traffic fatalities reported in the state this year.

While fatalities related to alcohol dropped, the state showed a significant rise in drunk driving arrests, which increased to 7,773 from 7,050 a year ago during the June-August period.

Load comments