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Victims named in fatal collision in Carlton County

The Minnesota State Patrol released the names of the two drivers killed in Tuesday's head-on collision on Minnesota Highway 45 between Carlton and Scanlon.

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A Cloquet Area Fire District firefighter suppresses a smoking engine at the scene of a fatal car accident Tuesday on Highway 45 outside Carlton. (Jana Peterson / Pine Journal)

The Minnesota State Patrol released the names of the two drivers killed in Tuesday’s head-on collision on Minnesota Highway 45 between Carlton and Scanlon.
Joshua Padgett, 32, of Carlton, and Karen Johnson, 56, of Esko suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Padgett’s children - 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter - were hospitalized following the crash with the daughter taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and the son to a hospital in St. Paul. There have been no condition reports issued by hospitals on the children at this time. The state patrol, in its news release Wednesday morning, said the boy suffered “serious injury” and the girl “non-life threatening” injury.
The drivers collided Tuesday morning. The Minnesota State Patrol reported that a 2011 Chevrolet Impala driven by Joshua Padgett was traveling south on Highway 45 just before 8:30 a.m. when it crossed the centerline and struck a northbound 1999 Oldsmobile 88 driven by Johnson.
The accident occurred south of Interstate 35 on a stretch of Highway 45 that’s posted at 55 mph.
The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and the Cloquet Area Fire District also responded to the scene.

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