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Man who caused 10-vehicle accident not facing charges, may lose license

A van (at far left, pushing van in center of photo) driven by Terrill Simonson caused a 10-vehicle accident last week near the library in Detroit Lakes. There were no major injuries.

A man who lost control of his Ford van and caused a 10-car accident in downtown Detroit Lakes on Tuesday suffers from a medical condition and will not face charges, but he may lose his license, according to Detroit Lakes Police Patrol Sgt. Chad Glander.

The 10-vehicle accident with injuries was reported at 5:49 p.m.

It begin when a 1993 Ford, driven by Terrill Mark Simonson, 59, of Detroit Lakes, rear-ended a 2002 Hyundai driven by Barbara Jean Magnuson, 46, of Vergas.

She was shaken up in the collision and was treated on the scene. Her vehicle sustained substantial damage.

The Hyundai was hit from behind and pushed into a vehicle in front of it -- a 2000 Ford -- that had been waiting to make a left-hand turn onto southbound Washington Avenue from westbound Frazee Street.

The Ford was driven by Michelle Rae Weets, 44, of Detroit Lakes. Both Weets and Magnuson suffered soreness and stiffness from the crash.

Simonson's van kept going and rear-ended a 1997 Pontiac registered to James Joseph Bucholz, 54, of Perham.

The Pontiac was pushed into a 1977 Chevy registered to Gregory Wallace Beck, 48, of Detroit Lakes.

The Pontiac then ran into a 1993 Plymouth registered to James Carroll Langemo, 72, of Detroit Lakes.

These last three vehicles were all parked facing westward across Frazee Street from the Detroit Lakes Public Library.

The van continued to push Bucholz' Pontiac from its parked position into the library parking lot, where it struck a 1994 Honda registered to Rita Louise Arola, 43, of Detroit Lakes.

It caused a pileup in the parking lot that included a 1999 Chevy Blazer registered to Charles Frank Haspel, 52, of Detroit Lakes; a 2003 Buick registered to Donald Arthur Young, 65, of Lake Park; and a 2004 Oldsmobile registered to Elissa Johanna Roper, 29, of Detroit Lakes.

No one, including the van driver, appeared to be seriously injured in the accident.

Witnesses said the van appeared to be accelerating throughout the accident, with the engine whining and tires spinning.

Detroit Lakes police officers, firefighters and St. Mary's EMS workers responded to the accident.

"There was no indication of alcohol or drugs, it was likely a medical condition," Glander said.

He declined to state the specific nature of Simonson's medical condition due to privacy concerns.

Simonson's license remains valid, but law enforcement is recommending that the state take a look at the status of his license and consider whether it should remain valid, Glander said.