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Campground crash goes unreported

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On July 3, a man with a revoked license got into a front end collision with numerous juveniles in his vehicle at White Dog Campground in Staples.

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According to court documents, the accident happened that Tuesday afternoon, but was not reported until Wednesday morning on July 4. In addition to a revoked license, the man, identified as Zachariah Howard Morlock, 24, of Staples, did not possess any vehicle insurance on the Jeep he had been operating.

On the afternoon of July 3, Morlock and three adult companions had been tubing down a river with their children, two of them being Morlock's. There were seven juveniles on the ride, according to court records. When questioned, one of the children said that the adults had "had a few drinks" during that time. Morlock left the river with the children in his vehicle.

Witnesses said he was driving fast for the area he was navigating. While attempting to turn into the campground the group was staying at, Morlock got into a front end collision with a tree. According to court documents, the juvenile in the front passenger seat sustained injury to their head as they made contact with the windshield hard enough to crack it.

Several of the other passengers had slight head injuries as well as cuts and scratches. Another child had two black eyes. Only the front passenger was taken to a Staples emergency room for medical attention, court records said.

When talking with police July 4, Morlock said he had been going quickly around a corner and a 'yellow plastic box' prevented him from braking as it slid beneath the pedal. The box was photographed by authorities in the vehicle.

Morlock stated he was aware that his license was revoked and had no insurance, and that he should have reported the accident when it occurred, court documents said. The vehicle was towed from the site and impounded.

Morlock faces three separate charges, one being a gross misdemeanor with failure to notify police of a traffic accident and personal injury. Two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving an uninsured vehicle have also been filed against him.

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