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Blackduck girl thrown from ditch-driven car unnoticed

BLACKDUCK, Minn. - A 15-year-old northern Minnesota girl escaped major injury Sunday after being thrown from the car in which she was riding - apparently without the immediate knowledge of others in the vehicle.

According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by Louise Ericksen, 72, of Baudette was traveling southbound on Minnesota Highway 72 in Beltrami County, about six miles north of Blackduck, just before 10:30 a.m. when the car crossed the centerline and went into the east ditch.

While driving on the slope of the ditch, the car struck a no-passing sign with its driver's side rear-door area, breaking the door window. According to the patrol report, passenger Kendall Erickson, 15, of Baudette, was sleeping in the rear seat and as the car bounced along rough terrain in the ditch, she was ejected out the broken window.

Meanwhile, the Impala got back on the road and continued southbound, with the driver and the other passenger, Ashley Ericksen, 18, also of Baudette, apparently not immediately realizing Kendall Ericksen was not in the back seat. When they did realize she was missing, the patrol said, they returned to where the car had gone in the ditch and found Kendall standing alongside the highway with minor injuries.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.