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Eau Claire women dies in collision with semi tanker

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PEPIN COUNTY, Wis. -- An Eau Claire woman died when her van collided with a semi tanker Tuesday morning in Pepin County.

The Pepin County sheriff's department responded at 10:30 a.m. to the two-vehicle accident on Highway 85, near Dunn County, where Michelle Nelson, 38, was pronounced dead.

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Passengers in Nelson's van, Yolanda Saldana, 16, Esparanza Saldana, infant, and Carter Bauer, 1, were airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn.

Authorities say Nelson was traveling westbound on Highway 85, and had indicated she was turning right.

A semi tanker, driven by Duane Brantner, 52, Mondovi, Wis., attempted to pass the van on the left. Brantner was physically unharmed.

Instead of turning right, Nelson turned left and collided with the semi-tanker, authorities said.

The Wisconsin State Patrol, Durand Ambulance service, Durand Fire Department, Durand First Responders and the Dunn County Sheriff's Department all assisted at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.

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