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Two Wis. teens die in I-94 crash

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

NEW RICHMOND -- Two New Richmond, Wis. teenagers -- ages 16 and 17 -- died Monday afternoon as the result of injuries suffered when their 2000 Dodge Durango struck the rear a flatbed semi-rig that had slowed in heavy eastbound traffic about 1:20 p.m.

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In a news released issued at 5:33 a.m. today, the Wisconsin State Patrol said the sport utility vehicle was occupied by four people.

The two passengers in the vehicle who died as a result of injuries were Joshua Jacob Goodrich, 17, of New Richmond and Jordan Michael Johnson, 16, of New Richmond. Goodrich was critically injured in the crash and later died at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The driver of the Durango was Zachary D. Zajec, 17, of New Richmond received critical head, chest and extremity injuries and remains hospitalized. A fourth occupant of the vehicle, Thomas John Wanless, 17, of New Richmond received non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol report, Johnson was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. The other three occupants were wearing their seatbelts.

The semi was operated by Keep N On Trucking of Cadott and was driven by Paul A. Davis, 34, of Cadott. He was not injured.

The Department of Transportation changed its information late Monday afternoon after reporting two deaths earlier in the afternoon.

Three people were transported to hospitals, including two by helicopters. Eastbound traffic was blocked for several hours with motorists detoured down Hwy. 35 in River Falls and east on Hwy. 29 to Hwy. 63 and north to the interstate at Baldwin. The freeway reopened at about 3:45 p.m.

The crash remains under investigation.

The Patrol said agencies assisting included the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department, Hudson Fire, EMS and Rescue, the Roberts-Warren Fire Department, Jerry's Towing and LifeLink.

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