by Jim Boyle
Light snow wreaks havoc on roadways
Slick roadways may have been a factor in two fatal motor vehicle accidents in the area.
An early morning crash Wednesday in Big Lake Township claimed the life of Steven Baragar, 39, of Big Lake, according to Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott. Baragar was killed when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree off County Road 15 just north of County Road 35 at 5:39 a.m.
Witnesses reported Baragar was traveling southbound and had just completed a pass before losing control of his vehicle. It was the second fatal motor vehicle accident on County 15 in less than a month. The cause remains under investigation.
Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty reported later that same morning his office received a report of a two-vehicle crash at County Road 39 and Mason Avenue in Otsego. Based on the initial investigation, it appeared that a 2007 Volkswagen Beetle being driven by Ashley Ann McCauley, 26, of Otsego, was northbound on Mason Avenue when she collided with an eastbound 2007 Ford F-450 utility truck and trailer owned by Great River Energy and driven by Darin Orbeck, 47, of Cold Spring.
McCauley was transported via ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids where she later died from her injuries.
Wright County deputies were assisted at the scene by Elk River Fire and Rescue and Ambulance as well as the Minnesota State Patrol. The accident remains under investigation by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol reported in an email time-stamped at 4:21 p.m. that day troopers in northwestern Minnesota and west central Minnesota had responded to 33 crashes (eight of those were injury crashes and 13 were rollover-type accidents). An additional 61 vehicles slid off the road and required tow assistance.
As Grabow typed up the release several more accidents were reported. His advice was to “slow down.”
Otsego woman’s car vandalized in lot
A 46-year-old Otsego woman had her vehicle parked in the Northstar Park and Ride during the day Tuesday, Jan. 15, and when she returned that evening she noticed it was leaking fuel from the tank. It appeared that someone may have caused the damage intentionally.
If at first you don’t succeed …
“If at first you don’t succeed in getting a ticket, try again until you get one” is not the moral of this story.
A 52-year-old Elk River man was stopped after an officer ran a routine license plate check at about 8:24 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the intersection of Highway 169 and Main Street and discovered the man had a suspended license. The officer allowed the driver to park the car in private lot and call for a ride.
The motorist decided within minutes to drive himself to work after all and was stopped and cited for driving after suspension, and the vehicle was impounded. The call time on this incident was 8:40 p.m.
Seizure started after marijuana was smoked
Elk River police took a report Jan. 13 of a juvenile male having a seizure after allegedly smoking some marijuana in the 1800 block of Main Street. The patient was transported to the hospital.
Beauty in the eye of hair extension holder
A 27-year-old Zimmerman woman working at Sally Beauty Supply, 19000 block of Freeport Street, reported to police Jan. 12 that three black females came into the store and loitered. Several packages of hair extensions were seen in the hands of one of the females. The suspects did not make any purchases and left the store. The employee later noticed that the store was missing three sets of hair extensions.
While police were there taking the report a call came in from the Rogers Sally Beauty reporting a similar scene played out there.
Vehicle tampering suspect caught
Elk River police were called to the 300 block of Baldwin Avenue Jan. 15 for a report of two juveniles tampering with vehicles. One of the suspects got into a vehicle and fled the area, and a witness provided police with a license number. Officers were able to locate the vehicle and the police department is following up on this complaint.
Police look for thief of Wal-Mart product
Elk River Wal-Mart security reported to police Jan. 12 that a person pushed out a cart with approximately $300 in merchandise without paying. When confronted the person left the merchandise and fled the area before police arrived.
The suspect was in an older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe that was described as a fourdoor two-tone (possibly maroon and gold).
Fleeing suspects caught by U of M cops
Elk River police responded to Wal-Mart for a report of a theft in progress on Jan. 11. An adult male and female pushed a cart containing 14 items past all points of sale without paying for merchandise. When approached by store asset protection employees, the couple left the merchandise and fled to a four-door vehicle waiting in the parking lot. The vehicle was occupied by two additional persons and was last seen traveling south on Zane Street from Wal-Mart.
A KOPS alert was issued, and the vehicle was later located by the University of Minnesota Police and the suspects were identified. Elk River Police are following up.
Lock down done at Ivan Sand School
Elk River police assisted the staff at Ivan Sand Community School Jan. 11 during a “lock down drill.” Police helped staff execute and evaluate the drill at 1232 School St.
Fight at Ivan Sand leads to citations
Elk River police were called Jan. 11 to Ivan Sand Community School for a report of a fight which had occurred. Three students were charged with disorderly conduct: Cited were two 17-year-old Otsego boys and a 16-year-old Elk River boy.
Elk River man, 21, gets issued DWI
Elk River police arrested a 21-year-old Elk River man Jan. 11 for DWI after he was driving in the area of the 18900 block of Jackson Avenue without his headlights on.