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Forum staff reports , Published April 30 2010

Prelim autopsy rules out medical cause in crash that killed Sabin, Minn., farmer

The cause of a head-on collision Wednesday that killed a prominent farmer from Sabin, Minn., remains unknown after preliminary autopsy results ruled out a medical condition, Wilkin County Sheriff tom Matejka said.

Matejka said he received the autopsy results for 76-year-old Patrick Benedict this morning from the medical examiner.

“He could find no medical problem there before the accident,” Matejka said. “So, the only thing we’re thinking of then is he either got distracted while he was driving or he fell asleep at the wheel.”

Full autopsy results will probably be completed next week, he said.

Benedict died Wednesday morning when the car he was driving collided head-on with a grain truck on a county road northeast of Wolverton, Minn. The truck’s driver told authorities Benedict’s car suddenly swerved across the center line.

The Minnesota State Patrol plans to reconstruct the crash as part of the investigation, which remains open, Matejka said.