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ATV accident claims lives of two young men in southern Minnesota

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A ride on an all-terrain vehicle near a southern Minnesota lake ended in tragedy for two young men and their families early Thursday morning.

The bodies of the two riders, identified as 18-year-old Zachary R. Paulson and 24-year-old Derek Brandvold, were found in Lake Sakatah in Le Sueur County following an emergency call to the sheriff's office, KSTP reports.

According to the station, authorities reported the two were ejected from the ATV when they lost control of the vehicle and ended up in the water.

While the accident is still being investigated, the Star Tribune reports speed is believed to have been a factor, though there are currently no signs of alcohol use at the time of the crash.

Sheriff David Tietz told the paper that neither of the victims was wearing helmets, speculating that head gear may have provided them some protection from the trauma they suffered.

The Le Center Leader says both bodies were transported to the Ramsey County Coroner's Office in St. Paul for autopsy.

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