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Teen critically injured in Cottage Grove crash; police say criminal charges possible

A teenager was hospitalized following a head-on crash in Cottage Grove that injured three other teens and an adult.

The Hammond, Wis., boy was a passenger in a vehicle that hit another head-on while traveling on 70th Street west of Keats Avenue, Cottage Grove police said.

According to the accident report:

A Suburban driven by Kim Lemons, 44, of Cottage Grove, was headed east on 70th Street in Cottage Grove about 6:15 p.m. when it was struck by a westbound Pontiac car driven by a 17-year-old Cottage Grove girl.

The teenage driver had attempted a left turn onto Joliet Avenue when her car struck Lemons' vehicle head-on, according to the report.

Cottage Grove Police Captain Pete Koerner declined to name the driver of the second vehicle because of an active State Patrol crash investigation. Depending on the outcome of the investigation and the severity of injuries, the girl could face criminal charges or traffic citations, Koerner said. She was transported to Regions Hospital, but further details were not available.

Justin Kattre, 17, of Hammond, was a passenger in the Pontiac. Kattre was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, but he was not ejected from the vehicle. Police said he had critical injuries. His condition was not immediately available.

Police said there were two passengers in Lemons' suburban. Her 12-year-old son, Bradley, was riding in the front passenger seat. The rear passenger was Nathan van Kleek, 13, also of Cottage Grove. The boys were transported to area hospitals but released Wednesday night.

The four other individuals involved in the crash were wearing their seat belts, police said.

Authorities closed 70th Street for about two hours so the State Patrol could investigate.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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