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Norwegian judge killed in Spicer crash

WILLMAR -- The driver of a vehicle killed in a Tuesday morning crash at the intersection of County Roads 10 and 4 east of Spicer was a Norwegian appeals court judge who was on his way to the Kandiyohi County Courthouse in Willmar.

According to District Judge Donald M. Spilseth, Jan Martin Flod, 63, was visiting from Norway and had arranged with Spilseth to observe a hearing and watch the interpreters assisting in Spilseth's courtroom.

Flod was driving a rental car, a Ford Focus, southbound on County Road 4 that was struck by a Chevy Silverado pickup that was westbound on County Road 10.

The driver of that vehicle, Randy Twardy, 51, of Eden Valley, was not transported by ambulance for medical attention.

The crash occured around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

According to a news release from Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, Flod died at the scene and his companion and passenger, Torve Sleppen, 51, from Norway, was transported by air ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for treatment of her injuries.

Sleppen was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, Spilseth said.

She had already undergone hours of surgery for facial injuries and head wounds.

Flod is survived by his mother and two adult children, Spilseth said.

The judges became friends after Flod spent a week observing trial court activities in Spilseth's courtroom in 2001.

The observation was part of a sabbatical in which Flod studied the American court system.

Also responding were the Spicer First Responders and Fire Department, New London Ambulance, Kand-iyohi County Rescue Squad and the State Patrol.


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