Weather Forecast


2 dead, 7 injured in pileup near Clear Water

CLEAR WATER - Two people are dead and seven were left injured after a semi slammed into a vehicle last night in Stearns County, triggering an accident that involved five vehicles.

The accident happened at 7:37 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 94 west of Clear Water.

An Illinois couple, Thomas Williams, 78, and Sophie Mitzel, 71, were killed.

A total of seven people were injured, some critically.

According to the State Patrol traffic, a car fire on the highway had slowed traffic in the west-bound lane of I-94 when a semi, driven by David Dompleing, 56, of Orland Park, Iowa was going too fast and struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Korene Schmitz, 22, of St. Cloud, who was critically injured.

That vehicle and the semi then struck the vehicle driven by Williams, which rolled and landed on top of the Schmitz vehicle.

As those vehicles spun and rolled off the highway, two move vehicles were struck.

Others injured in the incident include Patricia Wanner, 61, who was a passenger in the Williams vehicle, Blaine Campbell, 30, of Bismarck, N.D., Joshua Lassonde, 22, and Walter Lassonde, 22, both of Wisconsin, Julie Kopesky-Anderson, 46, of Kimball and Caleb Anderson, 14 of Minnesota.

The driver of the semi was not injured.

Both west-bound lanes of the highway were re-opened at 1:38 this morning.


The West Central Tribune and the Echo Press are Forum Communications Company newspapers.