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Hitterdal man dead; second driver critically injured in Wednesday crash

This was the scene of a fatal accident wednesday afternoon on Highway 34 between Park Rapids and Nevis. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)1 / 4
Emergency crews work to extricate the driver of this pickup. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)2 / 4
Crews work with cutting torches and other equipment to free the trapped driver of this pickup Wednesday afternoon. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)3 / 4
Crews load the driver of a pickup into a helicopter Wednesday afternoon. Sarah Smith/Enterprise)4 / 4

One person has died and another is in critical condition following a head-on collision east of Park Rapids Wednesday afternoon.

Both victims were air-lifted to Innovis Hospital in Fargo, where Robert L. McGrath, 49, Minneapolis, was listed in critical condition Thursday morning.

Dale L. McDougall, 53, of Hitterdal, was pronounced dead upon arrival in Fargo.

Both drivers were in pickup trucks. Dozens of first responders descended on the scene. The accident, at 4 p.m., snarled traffic on Highway 34 between Park Rapids and Nevis for two hours.

Emergency crews worked frantically to extricate both drivers from their mangled vehicles, using pry bars, the jaws of life and cutting torches.

Both pickups were demolished.

The roadway was clear but wet at the time of the crash. There were no passengers in either vehicle. The State Patrol is investigating why McGrath's eastbound vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic in the westbound lane.