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Swift County commissioner in critical condition after accident

WILLMAR -- Swift County Commissioner Pete Peterson of rural Benson is hospitalized in critical condition after a bizarre chain of events that left him with a severe head injury.

WILLMAR -- Swift County Commissioner Pete Peterson of rural Benson is hospitalized in critical condition after a bizarre chain of events that left him with a severe head injury.

Peterson shot a deer Saturday and was gutting the animal when he cut his leg, according to his son, Simeon Peterson. He then attempted to drive himself to Swift County-Benson Hospital, but along the way lost consciousness. His truck subsequently ran off the highway and into a tree. Peterson was transported to Swift County-Benson Hospital and then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

He is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Doctors performed surgery to remove a portion of his skull to relieve swelling pressure and hemorrhaging caused by the head injury, Simeon Peterson said.

Doctors expect Pete Peterson to be in the intensive care unit for three to five days. He is likely to be hospitalized for four to five weeks. Simeon Peterson said his father is doing well and is "ornery," which may help in his recovery.

"They (the doctors) are pretty surprised at how fast he is recovering," Simeon Peterson said.

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The Swift County Board met for its regular meeting Tuesday morning and divided up Peterson's committee assignments, according to board chair John Baker of Appleton. Baker called the chain of events a "terrible ordeal" but noted he expects Peterson to recover.

"I'm sure he'll be fine, it's just a matter of time," Baker said.

Peterson and his wife, Brenda, own the Whistle Stop Cafรฉ in Benson. Peterson also does custom fieldwork.

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