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Victims identified in buggy-pickup crash in Stearns County

AVON -- Robert Alois Keppers, 72, and Mary Joan Keppers, 66, of Avon, have been identified as the couple who died after their horse-drawn buggy was struck by a pickup Sunday morning.

Buggycrash.jpg
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office was dispatched Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, to a fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a horse-drawn buggy north of Avon, Minn. Submitted photo

AVON - Robert Alois Keppers, 72, and Mary Joan Keppers, 66, of Avon, have been identified as the couple who died after their horse-drawn buggy was struck by a pickup Sunday morning.

The Ford F-150 pickup was driven by Mark Lucas, Knapp, 23, of Avon.

According to a report from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, the pickup and buggy were both traveling north on Stearns County Road 9 north of Avon north of Avon when the crash occurred at 11:17 a.m. The buggy was on the shoulder, and Knapp struck it from behind, sending it into the east ditch, according to the report.

The crash was reported by the pickup's OnStar impact activation system. Several passers-by stopped to assist at the crash scene. While officers were en route,  they were informed that both parties in the buggy were critically injured, and CPR was in progress, according to a news release.

County Road 9 was closed for longer than two hours while aid was rendered and an investigation was conducted.

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The bodies were transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The horse was severely injured and died at the scene. Family friends of the couple removed its remains.

Avon Fire and Rescue, Gold Cross Ambulance, and the Minnesota State Patrol assisted in responding to the scene and in reconstructing the crash scene.

The crash remains under investigation by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.

Related Topics: STEARNS COUNTYAVON
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