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Minn. woman killed in Pierce County crash; Ellsworth motorist airlifted, will survive

TOWN OF TRENTON -- A southeastern Minnesota woman was killed and an Ellsworth woman was airlifted Thursday after a head-on crash in Pierce County.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said 60-year-old Preston resident Penny Yelton died in the crash, which left the driver of a second vehicle with serious injuries. That person, 37-year-old Casie Johnson, was flown to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The sheriff’s department didn’t disclose the extent of her injuries, but scanner traffic at the time indicated she sustained a leg injury.

Deputies responded to the crash at 1:38 p.m. Dec. 28 at Highway 63 north of 810th Street in the town of Trenton. Investigation revealed Yelton’s 1998 Dodge Dakota was northbound when it lost control, crossed the center line and struck Johnson’s 2000 Chevy Silverado.

Yelton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Matthys said the road surface was “glazed over” at the time and was a likely factor. Alcohol was not involved, he said, adding that both drivers were wearing seat belts.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Red Wing firefighters and EMS, Ellsworth firefighters, Ellsworth first responders, LifeLink helicopter and the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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