Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Press reports
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Multiple accidents reported in area

Sturgeon Lake crash fatal


September 28, 2017

According to the Pine County Sheriff's Office, at 2 a.m. September 24 the Pine County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a motorcycle accident on Northstar Drive near Thornbury Way in Sturgeon Lake.

Emergency responders and deputies arriving on the scene found a single motorcycle off the roadway, which appeared to have struck signs and a fence. The driver and lone occupant, identified as David Kapanen, age 50, of Sturgeon Lake, was located nearby and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the Minnesota State Patrol in the continuing investigation.

Man faces charges after crash

A 33-year-old St. Paul man is facing a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation while under the influence stemming from a motor vehicle crash on Highway 48 near Cloverdale.

According to the complaint, on September 22 the Minnesota State Patrol responded to a crash on Highway 48. Upon arrival, the trooper found a red Toyota with significant rear end damage. The female driver told the trooper she had been slowing down for the 45 mph zone and was rear-ended. She said she felt she may have been injured badly.

The second car, a gray Mazda, had significant front end damage. The driver was identified as Nicholas Muriungi Murungi. His 9-year-old son was in the front seat. He told the trooper he thought the speed limit was 65 mph and that the other car had stopped suddenly and that is why he hit them. The trooper noticed the smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle as well as a beer bottle, beer caps and liquid on the floor mat. Murungi admitted to having one beer.

A portable breath test (PBT)was administered and the result was a blood alcohol level of .217.

All three involved in the accident were transported to the hospital where it was determined the female victim suffered a broken back.

Murungi could face a three-year sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. He was also charged with a gross misdemeanor refusal to submit to a chemical test, blood or urine, as required by search warrant, which could result in a year in jail and/or $3,000 fine.

ATV accident

The Pine County Sheriff's Office reports that on September 23 just after 2 p.m., the sheriff's office received a report of an ATV accident south of Net Lake Road on State Forest Road 4.

The driver and lone occupant of the ATV hit a bump in the trail causing the machine to roll. The driver of the ATV, 61-year-old female from Pease, suffered what could be described as serious non-life threatening injuries. She was air lifted to a Duluth hospital.

Kerrick Rescue and Mercy Ambulance responded as well.

Esko crash

According to the Carlton County Sheriff's Office, on Thursday, September 21, just before 5 a.m., Carlton County Dispatch received a report of debris on the roadway and a male wearing a reflective jacket stumbling around between the ditch and the road. The caller believed a motorcycle had possibly wiped out.

Carlton County deputies responded to the scene and found the driver of a motorcycle, a 44-year-old Esko man, had been involved in an accident. The male was transported to Essentia with head injuries and lacerations. His condition at the time of this release is not known.

Squads later found the driver, identified as a 29-year-old Two Harbors man, of a passenger car with extensive front end damage parked some distance from the accident scene. The Two Harbors male was transported to Cloquet Memorial Hospital for an evaluation. He did not appear to have any life threatening injuries.

It is not known at this time what caused the accident.

The Minnesota State Patrol was called to assist in mapping the accident. This is an ongoing investigation.


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