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Evansville man, 9-year-old girl die in crash

A 32-year-old Evansville man was one of two victims killed in a crash with a semitrailer near Perham on Monday.

Joshua W. Lawson of Evansville, the driver of a Chevrolet Impala, died, along with his front-seat passenger, 9-year-old Kara Westhoff of Troy, Missouri.

The crash happened at about 11:30 p.m. on July 5.

According to the State Patrol, the Impala was going south on Otter Tail County Road 80 and was approaching a stop sign when it pulled into the path of a 1996 Ford that was traveling west on Highway 10.

The other driver was Curtis M. Sonnek, 29, of Princeton.

The Impala was struck broadside in the driver's door area and both vehicles ended up in the median of Highway 10.

Both Lawson and Westhoff were pronounced dead at the scene.

Another passenger in the Impala, Luke Westhoff, 10, suffered injuries that were not life threatening, according to the State Patrol.

Sonnek wasn't injured.

Everyone in the accident was wearing seat belts.

The crash happened near milepost 68 on the eastern edge of Perham.

Responding units included the New York Mills Police Department, Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and the Perham Police Department. Perham Ambulance and the Perham Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

Lawson grew up in the Morris area and was a decorated Army soldier during his 15 months of service in Iraq.

After his honorable discharge in September 2008, he returned to Morris where he lived until 2009. He purchased a farm site in the Evansville area and was working on restoring the home. He loved hunting and fishing, spending time with his German shepherds and being with family and friends.

Funeral services for Lawson will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Morris. Visitation will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to the church service.