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New Richmond woman airlifted after suspected alcohol-related crash

Polk County deputies arrested the driver of this truck on suspicion of drunken driving after she allegedly crashed into another vehicle on Aug. 5. The driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene and was recovering in "good condition" at Regions Hospital. Photo courtesy of Polk County Sheriff's Office

A New Richmond woman was airlifted from the scene of what Polk County authorities said was an alcohol-related crash.

Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson said 33-year-old Jessica A. Brotzler was flown to a hospital after a two-vehicle crash reported at 11:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. A Regions Hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday that Brotzler was recovering there in “good” condition.

Deputies cited the driver of a second vehicle, 30-year-old Star Prairie resident Samantha L. Grimes, for OWI. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge in Polk County Circuit Court.  

Deputies said the crash occurred on County Road M near 192th Street in rural Star Prairie. Initial reports indicated Grimes was southbound on County Road M in a 2016 Chevy Silverado when she drove off the road and struck a mailbox before over-correcting and crashing into Brotzler’s 2010 Chrysler Town and Country.

Brotzler’s vehicle contained two Star Prairie passengers — 33-year-old Jessica E. Rugg and 32-year-old Ryan G. Rugg. The sheriff’s office didn’t have information about the extent of their injuries.

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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