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Two die in crash south of Willmar on Highway 71

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An Olivia couple has died as a result of injuries sustained Sunday when their vehicle struck an unoccupied farm implement along U.S. Highway 71 south of Olivia.

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According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the front seat passenger of the 2005 Buick, Carla R. Kopel, 74, was deceased when emergency personnel arrived. The driver, Thomas J. Kopel, 76, was flown by air ambulance to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale before he died of his injuries.

According to the Patrol, the farm implement was stopped along the northbound shoulder and extended about 2 feet onto the lane of traffic. The car was northbound and struck the implement, which was not specified by the report, from behind. The crash was reported around 8:40 p.m. Sunday.

One of the rear seat passengers, Allie Cook Jr., 54, of Cottage Grove, was taken to the Olivia Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Another passenger seated in the rear seat, Theresa Cook, 53, of Cottage Grove, was not injured.

Also responding were the Olivia police, ambulance and fire departments and Renville County Sheriff’s Office. Olivia is roughly 30 miles south of Willmar.

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