Driver transported to Park Rapids hospital after crash south of town
The driver of a minivan was taken by ambulance to the hospital after being broadsided by another vehicle Saturday afternoon south of Park Rapids and rolling several times.
"He's lucky he's alive," said eyewitness Earl Shannon of the injured driver. "He rolled at least four times."
The crash took place on Highway 71 right outside the Piney Park mobile home court. Residents there heard the crash and called for help.
Shannon and wife Lindy, of Perham, were southbound on the highway when they said they witnessed the crash.
They said the driver of a Chrysler convertible was northbound parked on the east side of the highway. They speculated the man was checking a mailbox.
They said he then pulled across the highway in a wide arc into a driveway on the west side of the highway, broadsiding the northbound minivan.
An ambulance took that driver to St. Joseph's Area Health Services. The accident, which occurred around 4 p.m., slowed traffic on the busy highway as numerous officers raced to the scene and began directing traffic around it.
The Chrysler remained in the driveway, while the minivan landed in the ditch on the west side of the highway.
Both of the Shannons were shaken up.
"It was just unreal," Earl Shannon said.
Numerous agencies responded including the Minnesota State Patrol, Hubbard County, Park Rapids police and North Memorial Ambulance personnel.
Sunday the State Patrol identified the driver of the Chrysler Sebring as as Harold Mowder, 78. The Patrol said he was turning into his driveway from his mailbox. He received minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital.
The driver of the Ford van was identified as Steven D. Martinson, 63, of Parkers Prairie. He was treated and released for minor injuries.