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Police identify Cottage Grove teen killed in crash; passenger hospitalized in good condition

Utility crews repair a power pole Friday morning on Sunny Hill Drive between Military Road in Woodbury and 65th Street in Cottage Grove, near the scene of a fatal one-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente1 / 2
Crash reconstruction markings are visible on Sunny Hill Drive south of Military Road following a fatal crash on the dirt road Thursday. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 2

Police on Friday identified the teenage driver killed in a single-vehicle crash that left a passenger hospitalized.

Woodbury police named the driver as Nicholas Bibeau, an 18-year-old from Cottage Grove. He died Thursday, shortly after being taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to the Woodbury Public Safety Department.

Bibeau's passenger, a Park High School student from Cottage Grove, was injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:40 p.m. Thursday in the 5800 block of Sunny Hill Drive -- on the border of Woodbury and Cottage Grove. She was also taken to Regions.

School District 833 officials in an email to Park teachers identified her as Allison Wendel, a senior at the school in Cottage Grove. A Regions spokeswoman confirmed that Wendel was still hospitalized Friday. She was listed in good condition.

Woodbury police Cmdr. Steve Wills said officers were working on a reconstruction of the crash Friday. Initial indications were that the vehicle was northbound on Sunny Hill Drive when it lost control on the gravel surface and left the roadway, where the vehicle's passenger struck a power pole, causing an electrical line to go down.

Wills said electricity "was involved in the accident" and that investigators were looking into the possibility that Bibeau had been electrocuted.

"It was a pretty dangerous scene," Wills said.

He said indications were that both occupants of the vehicle were wearing seat belts.

Wills said there was no indication that Wendel had been electrocuted.

He said drugs and alcohol were not suspected in the crash.

The cause of the crash was being investigated by Woodbury public safety and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Park teachers were asked Friday by the school district to read a statement to students explaining that Bibeau died in the crash and Wendel was injured. The school encouraged students to meet with staff if they had questions or needed support.

Bibeau graduated in 2011 from Park, where he was a member of the swim team.

The Bulletin will update this story as more information becomes available.