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Two teens critically injured in alcohol-related crash in central Minnesota

ST.CLOUD, Minn. -- Two teenagers were critically injured, and four others were also hurt, in an apparent underage alcohol-related crash near this east-central Minnesota town late Saturday night, Nov. 10.

The accident occurred about 11:20 p.m. when a pickup driven by Zachary Klaphake, 17, of Avon, went off a rural road near St Anthony and hit a large tree head-on with five other teenagers inside, according to Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson.

The town is northwest of St. Cloud

In critical condition as of late Sunday night were passengers Nathan Schmidt, 18, of Albany, who was flown from the crash scene to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities, and Adam Young, 17, of Albany, who first was taken by ambulance to a St. Cloud Hospital then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The other four in the pickup, including Klaphake, were treated and released at a St. Cloud hospital. The other passengers with minor injuries were Nathan Tamm, 18, of Albany, Jacob Burg, 15, of Avon and Alayna Kolb, 16, of Albany, said the sheriff.

The sheriff said in a news release that an investigation provided evidence that Klaphake had been consuming alcoholic beverages. He was asked to submit to a preliminary breath test which revealed the presence of alcohol, said the sheriff department. A warrant was obtained for a blood sample from Klaphake and further alcohol testing will occur at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab in St. Paul.

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