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2 cops hurt after ATV chase through downtown Bemidji

Alcohol is believed to be a factor.

A chase involving an all-terrain vehicle through downtown Bemidji left three people hurt this weekend, including two local police officers.

The four-wheeler crashed into the officers' squad cruiser during the pursuit early Sunday morning, the Minnesota State Patrol says.

According to the patrol's incident report, the two cops were trying to assist in a chase "started by another officer." 

At one point, the Polaris ATV apparently came out of an alley and onto Beltrami Avenue, where it collided with the police cruiser. 

The ATV driver, identified as a 26-year-old woman, was injured along with the officers. 

All three were taken to nearby Sanford Health, but luckily, their injuries were not life threatening. 

It's not yet clear how the chase started or why the ATV was on city streets – which is largely illegal under Minnesota law, unless the vehicle is "on the shoulder or extreme right side" of the road

Authorities do believe alcohol played a roll in the incident. 

ATV accidents in Minnesota

It's been a busy year for incidents involving off-road vehicles in Minnesota, with several making the news. 

The latest DNR data shows there have been at least 14 fatal ATV crashes in the state this year. 

That's close to the total for 2016, when there were 16 ATV fatalities and two off-highway motorcycle fatalities, the DNR's website shows. At least four of those incidents involved alcohol.

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