A three-vehicle accident happened Tuesday morning in front of Burger King on State Hwy. 34 in Park Rapids.
According to the Park Rapids Police Department’s incident report, the crash occurred at approximately 9:44 a.m. during an unrelated traffic stop nearby.
Law enforcement observed that the vehicle in the rear of the accident, a 2011 BMW 328xi sedan, had a moderate amount of front-end damage, and was smoking and leaking fluid onto the road.
It was also noted that the BMW’s driver, Katherine Freitag, 55, of Nevis, appeared to be in shock. After helped out of her vehicle, Freitag said she was OK.
The middle vehicle, a 2017 Nissan Rogue SUV, sustained moderate damage to its rear end. The Nissan was occupied by driver Thomas Gschwind, 28, and his passenger, Kali Olson, 27, both of Ham Lake, who said they were uninjured and were wearing seat belts.
The lead vehicle in the crash, a 2012 Ford Taurus sedan, sustained minor rear-end damage, mostly in the trunk area. Driving the Taurus was Zachariah Rouse, 18, of Olivia. Rouse and his two passengers, whose names were redacted from the police report, also reported wearing seat belts and being uninjured.
North Memorial Ambulance Service, Park Rapids Fire Department, and additional law enforcement personnel also responded to the scene.
Rouse reported that he had stopped on westbound Hwy. 34, while the vehicle ahead of him paused to let a pedestrian cross the road. His Taurus was then struck from behind.
Gschwind said he was westbound on Hwy. 34 when he slowed for the vehicles stopped ahead of him, and his Nissan was struck from the rear.
Freitag told officers she was traveling west when she saw officers on a traffic stop. She said she looked over at the traffic stop, then looked at the road ahead and slammed on the brakes, but was unable to stop, hitting the back of the Nissan.
The Taurus was driven away from the crash scene, and both the Nissan and the BMW were towed by Farrington’s Towing. No one involved in the accident was transported to the hospital.