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Forum staff reports, Published August 22 2011

UPDATED: Passenger in critical condition after three-vehicle crash near Wadena, Minn.

WADENA, Minn. – A Wadena man is in critical condition after a car was rear-ended by a van and then struck by a semi-trailer Sunday, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. on Highway 71 about two miles north of Wadena.

According to the patrol:

A northbound 1992 Dodge Spirit was slowing down and signaling to make a left turn when a 2002 Dodge Caravan struck the car from behind. The car started to roll onto its right side as it was forced into the southbound lane.

An oncoming semitrailer loaded with wheat hit the car in the hood, tearing the engine compartment from the passenger compartment.

The car’s passenger, DeWayne Murdock, 44, of Wadena, was airlifted to a St. Cloud hospital with serious injuries. He was listed in critical condition. The car’s driver was treated and released from Tri-County Hospital in Wadena.

The van’s occupants, which included two children in booster seats and seat belts, also were treated and released from the Wadena hospital. The semi’s driver wasn’t injured.

The Wadena Police Department and Wadena County Sheriff’s Office assisted the patrol.