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Updated: Fatal crash claims River Falls man, two others critical

Pierce County sheriff's deputies wait for passing traffic to complete measurements three hours after one person died. The scene is about a mile south of CTH O on Hwy. 65.

A 24-year-old River Falls man died and his wife and an Ellsworth woman were critically injured early Friday morning in a two-vehicle accident that closed Hwy. 65 for two hours.

Andrew J. Lindberg, 24, exact address unknown, died at scene, three miles south of River Falls.

Lindberg was the driver of a 1998 Plymouth Neon that crossed the centerline and struck a 1997 Chevrolet Lumina driven by Gretchen J. Lange, 44, of Ellsworth.

Both Lange and a Lindberg's wife, Kimberly, were transported by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital, according to a sheriff's department press release.

River Falls hospital declined to release any information but a spokeswoman for Regions said early Friday afternoon that both women were patients there and both were listed in critical condition.

Kimberly Lindberg's name appears in the most recent directory of UW-River Falls students. It lists her address as a Bartosh Lane apartment. Campus police verified that she is a senior, studying mass communications.

River Falls EMS and fire crews were summoned about 4:12 a.m. A third ambulance was requested about 20 minutes later.

Exchanges between first-arriving officers and the Pierce County dispatcher indicated one individual was trapped in a ditched car while another gravely injured patient was still in a vehicle on the roadway.

Pierce deputies closed Hwy. 65 between CTH W and CTH O around 4:40 a.m. Northbound commuters were being rerouted on W to Hwy. 29 while southbound traffic was being send down CTH O to Hwy. 10. The road opened about 6:30 a.m. but officers were still on the scene an hour later, taking measurements.

Deputies were assisted officers from the River Falls Police Department. UW-RF campus officers subsequently provided mutual aid to the city while its officers were on-scene.

A pair of wreckers were ordered at 5:35 a.m. and the vehicles were taken to the sheriff's department impound lot in Ellsworth as investigation into the crash continues.

Light rain was falling in River Falls at the time emergency personnel were called.

Additional details will be posted when available.