Weather Forecast


UPDATED: Frazee man seriously injured after Highway 71 crash into tree

Wadena County Sheriff Mike Carr, left, surveys the damage done by a northbound Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV after it drove into a ditch on U.S. Highway 71 at approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, 26 miles north of Wadena. Journal photo by Brian Hansel

A Frazee man was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the opposing lane of traffic and crashed into a grove of trees south of Park Rapids.

The accident on Highway 71 near Blueberry Pines Gold Course, sent Chad R. Brown, 39, to St. Joseph's Area Health Services in Park Rapids, where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday evening.

His 2008 Chevy Blazer was almost hidden from view by trees that toppled onto the vehicle upon impact. The accident, just before 3:30 p.m., slowed traffic on the highway. Emergency personnel from Hubbard and Wadena counties responded to the crash, assisting the State Patrol. Brown was the sole occupant of the vehicle, according to State Patrol records. However, Wadena County authorities said two people were in the vehicle.