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Alcohol suspected in ATV crashes that left man with life-threatening injuries

The man's ATV was one of two that crashed in Buhl, Minnesota.

A group riding a pair of ATVs together have been hospitalized after crashing both vehicles – one after the other – in northern Minnesota.

One rider suffered life-threatening injuries from the double accident, which happened Saturday afternoon in the town of Buhl. 

St. Louis County authorities say that while they were responding to the first ATV crash – which sent that vehicle flipping end over end, ejecting its two riders – they were alerted to another ATV crash that had happened at the same time a short distance away.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, the two vehicles were riding on surface streets, specifically Memorial Drive, when the first one left the road and flipped.

Immediately afterward, the 25-year-old driver of the second ATV apparently turned around in an attempt to help, but ultimately ended up rolling his vehicle and getting pinned underneath it, the release says.

A 21-year-old man from the first crash had to be airlifted to St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, and was later transferred to a Twin Cities hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries. 

His current condition, and the exact nature of his wounds, aren't known at this time.

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The other two riders, one of them a 19-year-old woman, were taken by ambulance to area hospitals with non life-threatening injuries.

Authorities say the crashes are under investigation, but added that "speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors for both."

As of September 20, 18 people have died in ATV accidents in Minnesota in 2018, according to DNR statistics. 

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