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Two men die in rural Polk County crash

TOWN OF LORAIN -- Two men died in a one-vehicle crash Saturday morning in rural Polk County.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office received the call at 8:37 a.m. April 1 about the crash, which happened about two-thirds of a mile west of 15th Street on 357th Avenue in the town of Lorain. The caller stated two people in the vehicle were unresponsive.

Upon arrival, 29-year-old Kevin W. Sommerfeld, of rural Lorain Township and passenger Robert A. Carlson, 56, of rural Burnett County, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Sommerfeld was operating a 1998 white Oldsmobile Cutlass four-door sedan eastbound on 357th Avenue when it left the roadway and headed into the right ditch as it approached a bridge over a small creek. Initial investigation indicates no marks suggesting evasive maneuvers. The vehicle appeared to have drifted off the road.

After it entered the south ditch, it continued on over the bridge structure and began to flip as the right side tires fell. The vehicle then launched into the air, and later struck the opposite side bridge structure. The vehicle fell into the creek on its roof.

Lorain and Frederic Fire Departments, Polk County Medical Examiner’s Officer, First Responders and Northland Ambulance Service assisted at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation by the by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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