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Douglas County library director dies in foggy crash near Glenwood

Karen Simmons, 62, of Glenwood, the director of the Douglas County Library, died in a two-vehicle crash near Glenwood Monday morning.

The broadside collision happened on Highway 29 and Pope County Road 28 north of Glen-wood at about 7:45 a.m., according to the State Patrol.

Simmons was driving a 2013 Nissan Maxima.

The other driver involved was Haley Klimek, 19, of Lowry. She suffered minor injuries, according to the State Patrol. She was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado.

Simmons was driving north on Highway 29 while Klimek was eastbound on County Road 28.

Klimek approached the intersection and struck the Nissan, according to the State Patrol. It was very foggy at the time of the crash and road conditions were wet.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts and traveling alone.

Simmons died at the scene. Klimek was transported to the Glenwood hospital.

The Pope County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.

The library closed at noon Monday in response to the tragic turn of events. Storytimes have been cancelled for the week and will resume March 4.

Simmons was hired as library director by the Douglas County commissioners in January 2011.

She served as interim director starting in October of 2009 when Trish Conroy retired. Simmons had worked as the assistant library director, as well as the children's librarian, a combined service of more than 20 years.

A memorial service celebrating her life will be held Friday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Glenwood United Parish.

Visitation will be Thursday at Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood from 5 to 8 p.m. and will resume on Friday at the church, one hour prior to the service.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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