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Three injured as Explorer pulling boat plunges into lake in Otter Tail County

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An SUV pulling a boat on Highway 78 Sunday in Otter Tail County left the roadway and entered a body of water, leaving three people injured.

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The accident was reported at 4 p.m. on Middle Lake Road and Highway 78 near the town of Battle Lake, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The accident occurred when a 1999 Ford Explorer -- driven by Franklin Jochum, 76, of Richmond, and pulling a boat on a trailer -- left Highway 78 and entered the water at Middle Lake Road.

Franklin Jochum and passengers Sharon L. Jochum, 41, of Watkins; and Christopher T. Huhn, 42, of Watkins suffered what the State Patrol terms "non life-threatening injuries."

They, along with a 14-year-old whose name and address were not listed in the accident report, were transported by Ashby and Ringdahl ambulance crews to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls. Life Flight was contacted and met ambulances at the hospital. The teenager suffered no apparent injuries.

Assisting agencies were Ashby Fire and Rescue, the Battle Lake Police Department, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department and two DNR officers.

The accident occurred on dry two-lane blacktop at mile marker 14.

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