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Siblings injured after fall on bluff in Houlton

Two siblings were injured last week at their Houlton home when a tram apparatus they were riding failed and crashed.

The people, a 21-year-old man and a 9-year-old girl, were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul Aug. 12 with serious injuries, St. Croix County Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said.

Authorities responded at 2:43 p.m. to 1436 Triangle Drive for a rescue call phoned in by another family member at the home.

Knudson said the siblings were riding the tram - an apparatus used by some riverside residents to travel from blufftop homes to shoreline across the steep, wooded bluff - when it malfunctioned within the final 10-15 feet. The siblings went into a virtual free-fall before crashing into a deck at the bottom of the slope and being ejected from the tram.

St. Croix County deputies first attempted to access the crash site on foot, but quickly determined the victims would not be able to be extricated by land. Boats from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County (Minn.) Sheriff’s Office and the Stillwater Fire Department were deployed. The victims were placed on the boats and transported by water to Wolf Marina in Stillwater, where ambulance crews waited to take them to Regions.

The victims’ names and current conditions were not made available.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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