2 released from hospital after crash

Published 10:25 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

Two have been released from St. Marys Hospital following a single-car crash on County Highway 34 Sunday that left one dead and one still in critical condition.

Albert Lea-resident Charles Kenneth Dennison, the 20-year-old driver of the vehicle, and Myrtle-resident Langdon Brooks Bachtle, 26, have been discharged, according to a hospital spokesperson, who said Kelly John Pechumer, 37, of Alden, remains in critical condition.

The men were three of six occupying a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, which crashed around 1:30 a.m. after entering a washout area of the roadway. According to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle drove around “Road Closed” barricades protecting the region from motorists, then slid into the south side of the washout after landing atop a steel culvert in the ditch.

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Myrtle-resident Kelly Jo Abrego, 25, died Wednesday of injuries.

The final two passengers are listed in fair and good condition, the spokesperson said. Broc Mark Dempewolf, 22, of Albert Lea, was upgraded from serious to fair, and Nathan James Buchli, 26, also of Albert Lea, was moved from serious to good condition.

A First Responder from London en route to the crash was also slightly injured after his 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup crashed at the washout site.

The press release said Alex Jay Kline, 21, was driving northbound when he lost control of his vehicle, which dropped into a washed-out culvert. He suffered minor injuries, and was transported to Austin Medical Center by private vehicle, according to the release.

Multiple fire departments and law enforcement agencies responded to the scene.

The crashes follow a June 12 fatality at the same region of the highway, where 52-year-old Dale Wangen, of Albert Lea, was submerged in floodwater after he struck an embankment during the washout. A second motorist also crashed at the site that night, though escaped without serious injury.