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Forum Communications, Published December 14 2012

Medical issue killed man in Highway 10 accident

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A medical problem is believed to have caused the death of an Elk River man who crashed into a tree off Highway 10 East here on Wednesday.

John Hamilton DeGroat, 64, was eastbound on Highway 10 in a 2004 Dodge Stratus when he apparently suffered “some kind of medical condition,” went into the eastbound ditch and hit a tree, according to Detroit Lakes Police Chief Tim Eggebraaten.

Police officers who arrived first on the scene saw the driver still in the car and had to break the driver’s side window to gain access. DeGroat was unresponsive, and they performed CPR. He was declared dead at Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital in Detroit Lakes.

The crash was reported at 11:49 a.m. Wednesday. DeGroat was alone in the car.

Investigators believe his death was the result of the medical issue and was likely not caused by the crash, Eggebraaten said.