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11-week-old boy dies days after being injured in car crash outside Brainerd

The crash happened the evening of Aug. 13 in Bay Lake Township.

An infant died four days after being injured in a car crash in northern Minnesota.

Charles Witzel, 11 weeks old, died on Aug. 17 while at Children's Minneapolis, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Wednesday. Witzel had been in a Ford Expedition four days prior that was involved in a head-on crash east of Brainerd.

The State Patrol, in it initial incident report, said Witzel was the lone passenger in the Expedition, being driven by 51-year-old Jennifer Voss of Stacy, Minnesota, the evening of Aug. 13. The vehicle was headed northbound on Highway 6 in Bay Lake Township, when just before 6 p.m., it "drifted over the center line" near Katrine Drive, the State Patrol wrote.

The Expedition then collided with a Buick Lacrosse that was travelling southbound.

Voss was not injured, and the two occupants of the Buick — 77-year-old Jeanne Rubio and 76-year-old Rose Garafola-Wright, both of Deerwood — suffered non-life threatening injuries.

But Witzel suffered life-threatening injuries, the State Patrol said, and was taken to Children's Minneapolis. 

He died four days later "due to his injuries" suffered in the wreck, the medical examiner said. It ruled his death an accident.

The boy was born on May 31, according to an online obituary.

"He was our miracle baby and brought joy and happiness to all of those that crossed his path," the obituary reads. "His big blue eyes brighten up a room. He was loved and will be missed like no other."

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