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Mock crash brings real emotion


Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Features

Melody Roller weeps over her daughter Bethany Zrucky during the Fillmore-Central S.A.D.D. mock crash on Friday, May 16, 2014. Photo by Barb Jeffers

A routine fire drill sent hundreds of Fillmore-Central students to the Harmony Community Center in Harmony, Minn. on Friday, May 16, 2014 and what the students found there was anything but routine.

As the student body and staff made their way to the community center at approximately 10:44 a.m. they came upon the scene of a mock crash involving fellow students Kaitlynn Aug, Lee Dyreson, Danielle Zinsmaster, and Bethany Zrucky who are all leaders of Fillmore-Central’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) organization.

Horrific screams from Danielle Zinsmaster could be heard before the students reached the parking lot where the mock crash was taking place. Zinsmaster pleaded, “Get me out of here I can’t feel my legs!” as she was trapped in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

Lee Dyreson, the driver, was out of the vehicle wandering around dazed and confused while Bethany Zrucky lay unresponsive hanging out of the broken side window and Kaitlynn Aug, who was thrown from the vehicle, lay unresponsive several feet from the van.

While waiting for the responders to arrive Brenda Pohlman with Fillmore County Public Health announced the scenario to the crowd that had gathered. Four teens from Fillmore-Central School were at a spring party. They had been smoking marijuana and were headed to another site to smoke additional marijuana. The male teen (Lee Dyreson) drove his mom’s van and was elected to drive as he seemed okay.

During the drive, they decided to take a Snapchat to share with friends. This is when the van ran off the road, struck a telephone pole, and rolled several times landing upright. In the scenario the crash occurred at 10:44 p.m. The driver was wearing a seat belt and had minor injuries. Another teen (Danielle Zinsmaster) is seriously injured. One teen (Kaitlynn Aug) was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She died on impact. A second teen (Bethany Zrucky) is partially ejected from the vehicle and is also deceased.

Sirens could be heard coming to the scene at 10:48 a.m. with many area responders arriving to aid in the mock crash. These responders included members of the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Minnesota State Patrol some of whom included Deputy Betts, Deputy Miner, and Trooper Christianson. Also responding were the Harmony Ambulance, the Harmony Fire Department, and Gary and Gladys Peterson .....
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TJ Liquor

South Dakota man survives plane crash in thick woods of Newburg Township

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Mabel Features

As farmers were working up the rich soil of Southeast Fillmore County on the afternoon of Saturday, May 17, an orange and white Preceptor Ultra Pup home-built single-passenger plane overhead seemed to be flying lower than usual. And, it was. Experienced military pilot, Carl Koch, age 65, had just refueled at an airport in Caledonia. According to Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen, the pilot had just purchased the plane in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and was planning on flying it back to his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. His plane fell short of the 453 mile journey, only making it approximately 145 miles to where he crash landed. Koch’s original plan was to refuel in Caledonia, Albert Lea, and Worthington along the way until he arrived at his destination in Mitchell, South Dakota. But, due to mechanical difficulties still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), pilot Koch had lost power and had to navigate where to crash-land his newly purchased plane. With a dense volume of woods throughout Newburg Township, Koch and his plane crashed just on the fringe of some tillable farmland on a property owned by Weisel Creek, LLP. Following his crash landing with blunt head trauma, Koch found his way across a field and down a gravel road to the entrance of the property at 42489 County Road 18. From the site of the crash to County Road 18 is a little over one mile on foot. Once he arrived at the entrance of the property, he dialed 911, at approximately 2:43 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, to inform the Sheriff’s Department. Then he contacted his wife, who was traveling by vehicle following his flight path. Koch ended up with minor injuries and was transported from the scene to the hospital by a private party. The Mabel Ambulance also responded to the call. In the days that followed the plane crash, an FAA inspector investigated the damaged aircraft, upside down and mangled among the trees. According to Sheriff Jensen, FAA inspectors do not speak to the media. In the weeks to come, more information will be made available relating to the investigation of the crash. Sheriff Jensen said that the FAA inspector shared with him that investigating a crash in which the pilot survives is very helpful. With these types of crashes, the pilot often doesn’t survive to talk about what went wrong. Victor Spaulding, one of the owners of the property where the crash occurred, also arrived on the scene, asking Sheriff Jensen, “Is the pilot OK? How’s he doing?” Victor Spaulding, his son Alan Spaulding, and another partner named Mike Cashill are owners of the property under the entity known as Weisel Creek, LLP. All three owners live in the Twin Cities area. According to correspondence with reporter Mark Roper with television station KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an ABC affiliate pilot Carl Koch is in good spirits back at his home in Mitchell, South Dakota. Koch, who is the city attorney for the City of Mitchell, credits his experience for surviving the plane crash. “I don’t believe that I would have a fear of flying again. The truth of the matter is, that when I was flying in the military, I experienced things, and when things did go wrong it scared me more than this and obviously I continued to fly,” Koch said, in an interview with KSFY news anchor Mark Roper. But, he did go on to say, “I’m not going to put my wife, whom I expect to be married to until I die, and family, through concern and worry. I’m not going to put them through that kind of concern and worry again.”

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports ..... 
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Visitors move quickly to attend Stand Still Parade

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in Whalan Features

A horse with a mustache, a barbershop quartet, warm lefse, and classic cars were only a few of the attractions at this year’s Stand Still Parade in Whalan, Minn. on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The 19th annual Stand Still parade is one of the most uniq ..... 
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Chatfield couple finds a way to give back

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Features

When Tom and Michelle Root started planning a motorcycle run to benefit the Eagles Cancer Telethon back in February, they had no idea the amount of work they were getting themselves into. Thankfully, we all get by with a little help from our friends ..... 
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Correction

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Whalan Features

In the May 5, edition of the Fillmore County Journal there was an error in the Whalan Stand Still Parade will stand in place for 19th year press release. It was printed that pre-parade entertainment will be provided by Walter Bradley and Tom Arnold. ..... 
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Area businesses work together to bring local options at Fillmore County Wedding Show

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Ostrander Features

Small business owner, Trisha Christoperson, is full of vision. She started her business, Sweetie Cakes, out of her home with the idea of bringing a local option of baked delights to southeast Minnesota communities. Featuring only made from scratch t ..... 
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Help save the depot in Canton

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Canton Features

Some locals still remember the time when trains ran through Canton. Unfortunately not much remains of the railroad these days except for the memories and history preserved by those who have taken an interest and the old depot building. The depot ..... 
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Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet discussion centers around DMC

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

“There is no doubt that the epicenter of DMC is Rochester,” said interim President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Jerry Williams. However, there is also no doubt that the neighboring towns in Fillmore County like Spring Valley will fee ..... 
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Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet discussion centers around DMC

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

“There is no doubt that the epicenter of DMC is Rochester,” said interim President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Jerry Williams. However, there is also no doubt that the neighboring towns in Fillmore County like Spring Valley will fee ..... 
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