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Three injured when mechanized lift malfunctions on Big Sand Lake

A Park Rapids realtor and her husband were injured Wednesday evening when the mechanized lift on a property they were showing malfunctioned, sending them plummeting more than 100 feet down toward Big Sand Lake.

Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer said Robert and Mary Beth Anderson, who is an agent for Coldwell Banker Clack & Dennis Real Estate in Park Rapids, received minor injuries in the fall, reported just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Lake neighbors transported the couple to St. Joseph's Area Health Services, where Robert Anderson was seen for a broken rib and his wife was treated for multiple contusions.

The prospective buyer, Michael Behr, was not as fortunate.

"They found him down underneath the lift" with a compound fracture to his arm, Homer said. "It was about 150 feet down there."

He said rescue crews had to call for additional help to get the injured man back up the steep and rugged terrain on a spine board.

"It really made it tough on the rescue personnel that arrived," he said of the hilly lakeshore.

The home, at 19325 County Road 40, is listed by the agency Anderson works for. Homer said it is owned by Richard and Karen Kok. The homeowners were not present at the time the lift gave way.

Reached Thursday, Mary Beth Anderson said, "I'm not feeling that great," but declined further comment on the fall.

Mechanized lifts are becoming more popular as Hubbard County's population ages and people still want access to hilly lake lots. Most are run by an electric cable. Last year the Environmental Services Office decreased the permitting fee to install such lifts, to $50.

Hospital officials did not respond to a request for a condition report on Behr.