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Three hospitalized after Pierce County crash; alcohol suspected, deputies say

Three Beldenville residents were hospitalized Sunday after the SUV they were in was struck by a suspected drunken driver from New Richmond, according to authorities.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said the three people were passengers in a Ford Escape after it was hit at 10:15 p.m. Nov. 5 at Highway 29 and 690th Street in the town of Martell. The passengers, identified as 28-year-old Sarah Torkelson, 23-year-old Julie A. Knutson and 27-year-old Christopher R. Knutson, were taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital. The extent of their injuries was not disclosed.

The driver of the Escape, identified as Hannah E. Torkelson, 24, was not listed among the injured.

Deputies arrested the driver of the second vehicle, 21-year-old Tyler D. Christensen, on suspicion of OWI. According to the sheriff’s office, Christensen’s 2008 Dodge Charger failed to stop for a sign at the intersection.

The crash remains under investigation.

Deputies were assisted by Ellsworth EMS, Ellsworth firefighters and River Falls EMS.

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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