A two vehicle accident Friday night shut down Highway 169. A Chevrolet Suburban, driven by 62 year old Vicki Lee Benes of Hill City was traveling south on Highway 169 at 8 Mile Road (south of Grand Rapids). A Nissan Frontier, driven by 70 year old Michael Slattery of Grand Rapids, was traveling east on 8 Mile Road, crossing Highway 169. The Nissan attempted to cross the highway and broadsided the Suburban at the driver side. Slattery was ejected from the vehicle. His vehicle came to a rest in the south bound ditch. The Benes vehicle came to a rest in the northbound ditch. Slattery was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth with life-threatening injuries. Benes was also taken to St. Mary’s in Duluth with non-life threatening injuries. The five children in the Benes’ vehicle were taken to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The highway was closed to traffic for over half an hour.
Itasca County Sheriff’s Office, MN State Patrol, Grand Rapids Fire, and Lifelink Helicopter Service responded to the accident.