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RV crashes through guardrail, loses towed vehicle

A motorhome rests on an embankment above the Poplar River after a crash along Minnesota Highway 61 on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Cook County)1 / 2
A motorhome rests on an embankment above the Poplar River after a crash along Minnesota Highway 61 on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Cook County)2 / 2

A motorhome crashed through a guardrail on Minnesota Highway 61 south of Lutsen in Cook County Thursday afternoon before catching fire while it was being removed.  

At approximately 12:20 p.m. Thursday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash involving a recreational vehicle that broke through the guardrail and crashed onto the east embankment of the Poplar River, resting approximately 40-feet above the fast flowing river below.

According to authorities, Lake City Towing out of Superior was called to remove the RV, and upon moving the vehicle around 4:15 p.m. it started on fire. Lutsen Fire Department was paged back to the scene and was able to suppress the fire. The scene was cleared at 6:50 p.m.

As of Thursday night, responders were still attempting to locate a Chevy Trailblazer that was being towed behind the RV, according to a press release.

A man and woman from Nisswa, Minn., were safely extracted from the vehicle, authorities said. The man, who was the driver of the vehicle, did not appear to sustain significant injury, and the woman was transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital for evaluation, but was not believed to have critical injuries.

“It is very surprising that these people were not critically injured in this accident,” said Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen. “I commend our local responders for their swift actions and securing the scene.”

Assisting at the scene included Lutsen EMS, Cook County Emergency Management, U.S. Border Patrol and Cook County North Shore Ambulance.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District were notified of expelled vehicle fuels. The incident is under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol.