Midway Township woman killed in car crash

A T-bone accident on a foggy road resulted in death.


WEST OF PROCTOR โ€” Leah Joy Sarko, 48, of Midway Township, died following a car crash Friday morning. First responders and law enforcement responded to a report of a two-vehicle accident at 8:50 a.m. near the intersection of South Ugstad Road and Ugstad Junction in Midway Township.

According to an accident report by the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, an initial investigation leads authorities to believe Sarko was traveling east on Ugstad Juction with an 11-year-old passenger. She attempted to turn north onto Ugstad Road, when she was struck by a southbound vehicle driven by Jesse James Kowalczak, 18, also of Midway Township.

The collision was characterized as a T-bone incident. Sarko died as a result. Her 11-year-old passenger was transported by ambulance to Essentia Health Duluth, where he is currently listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. Kowalczak was transported by ambulance to St. Luke's, where he, too, is listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. The identity of the boy has not been released.

The accident report said heavy fog and speed appear to have been contributing factors. The collision remains under investigation by the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

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