Man in medical transport van killed in W. Minnesota collision

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • June 12, 2014 - 1:01 AM

A 93-year-old passenger in a medical transport van in western Minnesota died in a collision after a pickup truck turned in front of the van at an intersection in western Minnesota, authorities said Wednesday.

The crash occurred about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, roughly 8 miles west of Alexandria at County Road 8 and Moe Hall Road, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Killed was Elmer Jesness, of Barrett, Minn., the Sheriff’s Office added. Two others in the van and the pickup’s driver all suffered noncritical injuries.

Jesness, who required the use of a wheelchair, was on the way from his nursing home to a medical appointment in Alexandria at the time of the crash, said Jan Roers, who owns and operates Peoples Express medical transport service. Jesness was accompanied by a man acting as his power of attorney, Roers added.

The van was heading east on County Road 8 and hit the westbound truck turning south onto Moe Hall Road, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Roers said the pickup driver told law enforcement that he did not see the van.

The man accompanying Jesness was identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Paul Brutlag, 68, of Wendell, Minn. Driving the van was Melissa Runningen, 48, of Ashby, Minn., and behind the wheel of the truck was Michael Potzmann Jr. of Garfield, Minn.

Peoples Express, based in Wadena, Minn., has dozens of vehicles that cover much of west-central and southwestern Minnesota.

Paul Walsh

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