By Cara L. Dempski
EAU CLAIRE — A trio of Minnesota men were hurt in a two-vehicle accident near the Dunn/St. Croix County line Friday evening.
According to Wisconsin State Patrol Sergeant Jason Bakken, Tyler Smith, age 23 of Eagan, Minnesota, was driving west on Interstate Highway 94 shortly after 7 p.m. December 22 when his 2008 Ford Focus left the roadway and crossed the median into the eastbound lanes near mile-marker 34 in Dunn County.
Smith’s vehicle struck a 2011 Toyota Camry traveling east on the highway. The car, driven by Thach Nguyen, age 56 of Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Thi Huynh, age 54, also of Cottage Grove, was a passenger in the vehicle.
Bakken said that notes from Troopers at the scene indicate both eastbound lanes were closed for 36 minutes after the crash. One lane was reopened at 7:41 p.m. when one of the responding State Patrol officers used the push bumper of his cruiser to nudge one of the two vehicles into the ditch.
According to the notes on file at the WSP’s Eau Claire Headquarters, one person was trapped inside a vehicle and bleeding heavily, requiring responding law enforcement to enter the vehicle to provide medial assistance.
All three men were transported to Red Cedar Medical Center – Mayo Clinic in Menomonie, one via helicopter; Bakken was not able to provide an update on their condition.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said weather was not a factor in the incident, but did note Smith was cited for failure to maintain control of his vehicle.