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Victims identified in fatal horse-and-buggy crash in central Minnesota

AVON, Minn. — The couple who died after their horse-drawn buggy was struck by a pickup Sunday, Dec. 16, in central Minnesota have been identified.

The victims were identified as Robert Alois Keppers, 72, and Mary Joan Keppers, 66, of Avon, about 16 miles west from St. Cloud.

The Ford F-150 pickup was driven by Mark Lucas Knapp, 23, of Avon.

According to a report from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, the pickup and buggy were both traveling north on Stearns County Road 9 north of Avon when the crash occurred at 11:17 a.m. The buggy was on the shoulder, and Knapp struck it from behind, sending it into the east ditch.

The crash was reported by the pickup's OnStar impact activation system. Several passers-by stopped to assist at the crash scene.

County Road 9 was closed for longer than two hours while aid was rendered and an investigation was conducted.

The horse was severely injured and died at the scene. Family friends of the couple removed its remains.

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