One person died and five others were injured, one severely, as a result of a four-vehicle crash today on the Mississippi River bridge on Crow Wing County Road 3 near the Potlatch mill.
A woman, a driver of a Jeep Cherokee, died as a result of injuries suffered in the accident, said Crow Wing County Sheriff's Sgt. Neal Gaalswyk.
The accident, which happened about 7:30 a.m. on the bridge, is believed to have been caused by extremely icy conditions, Gaalswyk said.
The driver of a northbound Toyota sport utility vehicle lost control causing the vehicle to cross into the southbound lane and collide head-on with the Jeep, Gaalswyk said. A Pontiac four-door also collided with one of the vehicles. A W.W. Thompson concrete truck also was involved in the accident, though only incidentally, said Gaalswyk.
The front end of both the Toyota and the Jeep were severely damaged. The Pontiac also sustained front-end damage. Debris from the three vehicles was scattered over the middle section of the bridge.
The driver of the Jeep and three passengers, all children, were transported to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, Gaalswyk said. One of the children was severely injured in the accident, said Gaalswyk.
The driver of the Toyota suffered moderate injuries, said Gaalswyk, and also was transported to the hospital. The driver of the Pontiac suffered minor head injuries but wasn't transported to the hospital. The driver of the cement truck wasn't hurt.
No condition information on the four remaining survivors who were transported to the hospital was available this morning.
The Brainerd Fire Department assisted at the scene.
The accident closed down the Mississippi River bridge and a section of County Road 3 from Potlatch to Wise Road for more than two hours. Brainerd police and Crow Wing County sheriff's departments detoured traffic away from the accident scene at Memorial Park and Wise Road. Right after the accident, employees of Anderson Brothers Construction Co. helped detour traffic.
The State Patrol assisted at the scene with accident reconstruction.
The Crow Wing County Highway Department was called to put sand down on the icy bridge.
Gaalswyk asked motorists to use caution when driving on icy roads, especially bridges.
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