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Three killed in two crashes in Douglas County

Two separate crashes, four miles apart and within four minutes of each other claimed three lives in northern Douglas County Monday afternoon.

Cheri Dawn Reynolds, 48, and Sheila Rae Smith, 37, both of Alexandria were killed in a crash with a semitruck at the intersection of County Road 3 and 5 between Miltona and Belle River.

An initial investigation shows that they were the only occupants of a 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity that had stopped at the stop sign for County Road 5 at County Road 3 but then pulled into the oncoming path of a 2000 Kenworth tractor-trailer, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Reynolds was the driver.

The driver of the semi, Eugene Shaffer, 58, of Kentucky was taken to the Douglas County Hospital where he was treated and released.

The crash remains under investigation by the sheriff's office and the State Patrol.

The other crash happened four miles directly west, at the intersection of Highway 29 and County Road 5 and involved at least two vehicles.

The name of a passenger who died in the crash has now been released: Joann K. Kay, 76, of Plymouth. She was riding in a 2003 Buick LeSabre driven by William L. Fay, 78, also of Plymouth, who was not injured.

The other vehicle involved was a 1999 Olds Alero driven by Sarah Peterson, 23, of Miltona. She suffered minor injures. A 3-year-old baby girl was in her car but was not injured, according to the State Patrol.

The Buick was traveling west on County Road 5 and the Alero was traveling south on Highway 29, according to the accident report.

Initial reports indicated that there were three vehicles involved in the Highway 29/County Road 5 broadside crash but only two were listed in the State Patrol report.

Emergency response crews from throughout the area rushed to the scene of both crashes.

Those responding included Douglas County sheriff's deputies, Minnesota State Patrol, Miltona Fire Department, Miltona First Responders, Parkers Prairie Police Department, Parkers Prairie Ambulance, North Ambulance, and Carlos Fire Department