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2 dead, 2 seriously hurt in ambulance, dump truck crash near Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, MN -- Authorities have identified the two people who died and two others who were seriously injured after a dump truck and ambulance collided Tuesday north of Grand Rapids.

According to the State Patrol, it happened just before 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of County Road 336 and County Road 57 in Lawrence Township.

Officials say the Meds-1 Ambulance was t-boned by the dump truck.

Troy Boettcher, 51, of Warba, Minnesota, and Joseph Latimer, 17, of Grand Rapids were reported dead by Minnesota State Patrol Wednesday morning.

Latimer was wearing a seat belt at the time, Boettcher was not, according to the report.

The driver of the ambulance, Kimberly Hake, 28, of Cohasset, was taken to Grand Itasca Hospital in Grand Rapids with life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the dump truck, Nashwauk-native Jeffery Ekholm, 67, was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth with life-threatening injuries.

It is still unclear what led to the crash, but officials report alcohol was not a factor.

This crash happened at the same intersection where a crash took the life of DNR officer Sarah Grell in late May.

Rep. Spencer Igo (R-Grand Rapids) is now calling for safety improvements at the intersection.

"It’s clear that safety at this intersection must be improved and I am committed to working with MnDOT and local officials to make sure that significant changes are made in the near future to prevent further accidents at this location,” Igo wrote.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ryan Haff

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