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A crash Friday morning in Cottage Grove blocked both northbound lanes of Highway 61 for more than two hours as police and State Patrol investigated the incident. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

UPDATE: Dump truck, two vehicles involved in crash on Hwy 61 in Cottage Grove

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UPDATE: Dump truck, two vehicles involved in crash on Hwy 61 in Cottage Grove
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

A chain reaction collision sent a man and a toddler, both of Cottage Grove, to the hospital Friday following a crash that left two vehicles sprawled across both lanes of Highway 61.


The incident, which occurred in northbound traffic at Highway 61 near the 80th Street exit in Cottage Grove, snarled traffic in the area for more than two hours.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., Cottage Grove police, EMS and fire crews were dispatched to the exit after a gold Chevrolet Silverado pickup and a blue Toyota Sienna collided.

According to report by the Minnesota State Patrol, Craig Cooper, 40, of Cottage Grove, was transported with serious injuries after his pickup first collided with a dump truck, driven by Jacob Pipkin, 39, of Fairhope, Ala., which was traveling behind a street sweeper.

A van behind Cooper, driven by Cottage Grove resident Nicole Thompson, 39, did not have time to stop and rear-ended Cooper’s pickup.

She was reported to have sustained non-life-threatening injuries, as was her passenger, her 2-year-old son. Both were transported.

Cooper was the sole person in the pickup and was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Friday afternoon.

The report said the street sweeper was legally traveling on northbound Highway 61 at the time of the incident.

Cottage Grove police briefly shut down the exit’s bridge and used the exit ramp to reroute traffic around the accident.

The scene was cleared just before 1 p.m.

Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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