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Fatal Fourth of July weekend

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Otter Tail County suffered two tragic car accidents over the Fourth of July three-day holiday weekend, with accidents on Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5.

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On Sunday, at 7:19 p.m., a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix traveling westbound on Highway 210 broadsided a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan traveling southbound on Highway 78.

One person was trapped in the crash and had to be extricated from the vehicle. All three passengers in the minivan were listed in critical condition, including the driver, Gregory L. Ogdahl, 38, of Dayton, Minn. The driver of the Grand Prix, Jennifer L. Marple, 18, Breckenridge, also suffered a non-life-threatening injury. The passenger of the Grand Prix did not have any apparent injuries. All six involved in the crash were transported by ambulance to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls.

The second crash occurred late at night on Monday, July 5. A 1996 Ford semitrailer was traveling westbound on Highway 10 at 11:30 p.m. when a 2008 Chevy Impala, approaching a stop sign on Otter Tail County Road 80, pulled into the Ford's path. The Impala was struck in the driver-side door area.

The Impala's driver and front passenger, Joshua Lawson, 32, of Evansville, and Kara Westhoff, 9, of Troy, Mo., were pronounced dead at the scene. The third passenger, Luke Westhoff, 10, of Troy, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The Perham Fire Department, Perham Emergency Medical Services, Perham and New York Mills Police Departments, and Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.

(Initially, the patrol incorrectly listed the Westhoffs as being from Dent.)

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