MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two people died and at least one other person was hurt Sunday night in a two-vehicle crash in western Minnesota, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Authorities said the crash happened at about 8:43 p.m. Sunday on Highway 71 near 780th Avenue in Renville County near Olivia.

The State Patrol said a 2005 Buick LeSabre was headed northbound on Highway 71 while a farm implement was stopped on the northbound shoulder slightly in the traffic lane, unoccupied with its hazard lights on. The car rear-ended the farm implement, killing the driver of the car at the scene.  A front-seat passenger was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Authorities said a back seat passenger in the car was also transported to Olivia Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and another back seat passenger in the car was not hurt. Authorities identified the victims as 76-year-old Thomas Kopel and 74-year-old Carla Kopel, both of Olivia.

What led up to the crash is still under investigation by the Renville County Sheriff’s Office and Olivia Police with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol.


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