Authorities were on scene of a terrible crash at the intersection of 57 and 336 in Itasca County on Tuesday morning. The State Patrol said Tuesday evening it was fatal.
The two people who died have been identified on Wednesday morning as 51-year-old Troy Boettcher, from Warba, and 17-year-old Joseph Latimer, from Grand Rapids.
Representative Spencer Igo said that Boettcher was an EMT. “I am shocked and heartbroken to hear the news of this tragic traffic accident in Itasca County on Tuesday,” said Igo. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Northland go out to the friends and family of those involved.”
According to the State Patrol, a 67-year-old man from Nashwauk driving a dump truck had life-threatening injuries. So did a 28-year-old Cohasset woman.
The State Patrol report says the ambulance was driving south on 336. The dump truck, which was heading east on 57, T-boned the ambulance on the passenger side in the intersection.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, ranging from State Patrol, Nashwauk Police, Itasca Co. Sheriff, Meds 1, Essentia, and the Nashwauk Fire Department.
Drivers said that this is the same location as the accident that took the life of Sarah Grell on May 24. People have placed flowers and a stone there, at the intersection where she died.
Itasca County commissioner and board chair Ben DeNucci said, “It’s especially difficult for our community to endure another terrible accident within weeks of each other. But it’s good to know people live in a place that supports one another during difficult times.”
He said the county’s road and bridge division looked into the intersection after crash that killed Grell.
“We began to assess the intersection and have reached out to State Patrol and MnDOT to see if they have recommendations,” DeNucci said. “In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted.
Igo continued, “It’s clear that safety at this intersection must be improved and I am committed to working with MnDOT and local officials to make sure that significant changes are made in the near future to prevent further accidents at this location.”