April 12, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Man dies in crash in construction zone east of Chokio, passenger airlifted

A driver entered a construction zone Friday afternoon east of Chokio on Minnesota Highway 28 and crashed into another vehicle in the work zone. The driver was fatally injured, and his passenger was airlifted with life-threatening injuries, according to the State Patrol. The driver and passenger of the second vehicle, which was engaged in agricultural work, were uninjured. The crash occurred on a section of highway closed to through traffic while construction is underway.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Abdi Mohamud Jama, age 69, was driving a 2004 Nissan Murano eastbound on Minnesota Highway 28 and entered a construction zone, fishtailed and struck a 1997 Freightliner near 580th Avenue in Scott Township.

Jama was not wearing a seat belt and his injuries were fatal.

Passenger Kamil Mohamud Jama, age 21, was airlifed by North Air Care to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota. She was not wearing a seat belt.

The State Patrol report did not list addresses for either of them.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 511 traveler information website, that section of Highway 28 is closed for construction and a detour is in place. The work zone stretches from Stevens County Road 13, just east of Chokio, to the city of Morris.

According to the State Patrol report, the Freightliner was completing agricultural work while traveling east on a closed portion of Highway 28.

Lewis Taylor Varnum, 28, was driving the Freightliner. He was wearing a seat belt and had no injuries. Passenger Damian L. Vazquez, 32, was not injured, and the report said a seat belt was not applicable.

The State Patrol report did not list addresses for either of the two men.

Alcohol was not a factor.

Also responding to the crash reported at 4:39 p.m. Friday were the Steven County Sheriff’s Office, Stevens County Ambulance, Morris Police Department and the Chokio Fire Department.

Reed Anfinson