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One injured, two dead in three separate ATV crashes in state

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One injured, two dead in three separate ATV crashes in state
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

An OHV trail marking system for the county's emergency responders is in the works, but would have come in handy Friday morning when authorities had to search for an injured woman in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.

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Just before 9 a.m., the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department received an injury call from a group of riders in Akeley Township.

It took more than a half-hour to locate the woman, who was riding in a group.

Susan Pahan, 33, of Villard, was driving a 2008 Artic Cat 650 H1 through a mud puddle when she struck a rut and rolled, pinning her under the ATV, the Sheriff's Department said.

Pahan was transported by a rescue sled to an ambulance and then taken to North Country Hospital in Bemidji. She sustained injuries to her right hip and knee. Numerous responders were searching for her on the trail, including Akeley First Responders, Lakeport First Responders, a DNR Conservation Officer, and North Ambulance.

This incident remains under investigation with the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office.

Last month, a Bemidji OHV group reported its efforts to mark trails in the park for just such emergencies. Eventually GPS marked trail intersections will go up and county dispatchers will use those coordinates to direct emergency crews to accident scenes.

This comes amid two deaths in the past week on ATVs in the state. A 40-year-old Duluth man died when his all-terrain vehicle crashed north of Duluth Saturday afternoon.

He was identified as Martin Edward Kromschroeder. Authorities said he lost control of his ATV on a curve and hit a tree. He was not wearing a helmet. Excessive speed for the conditions is listed as the cause of the accident.

A Trail man died Thurs-day from injuries he received in an accident north of Gully. He was identified as 44-year-old Kenneth Sutherland.

Authorities believe his ATV caught a roadway edge and flipped, ejecting Sutherland.

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