Authorities on Wednesday identified an American Legion post commander who died in a traffic crash north of the Twin Cities, where his vehicle was hit by a car that ran a stop sign.
John C. Ploetz, 75, of Harris, Minn., was killed in the collision midafternoon Sunday at Stark Road and Acacia Trail, about 5 miles northeast of Cambridge in Chisago County, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.
Ploetz, along with his wife, owned and operated Lofgren Trucking in nearby Rush City for 30 years until 2005.
He also was the longtime commander of Harris American Legion Post 139 at the time of his death.
“He led the military honors for so many veterans and the Memorial Day services to commemorate the fallen,” said his wife, Joanne Ploetz, whose husband served with the Army in Vietnam in 1966-67.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
Ploetz was heading east on Stark Road and was struck broadside at the T-intersection by a car traveling south on Acacia Trail that drove through the stop sign, according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.
An air ambulance transported Ploetz to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died less than two hours later, according to the medical examiner.
The other driver was slightly hurt, the Sheriff’s Office said. Her identity has yet to be disclosed.
“The case is still under investigation and will be forwarded to our county attorney’s office for review for charges,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Hoppe, who added that alcohol does not appear to have played a role in the collision.