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U of M professor among 3 Minnesotans killed in Czech Republic crash

Three passengers from Minnesota were also injured in the crash.
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Three Minnesotans were killed and three more injured in a car crash in the Czech Republic. reports a vehicle carrying three Minnesota couples was traveling to the European College of Porcine Health Management conference in Prague on Tuesday when it collided with a semi.

Killed in the crash was Bob Morrison, a professor of the swine group at the University of Minnesota; Deb Spronk of Pipestone, Minnesota; and Pam Wetzell, who the Mankato Free Press reports lives in Cleveland, Minnesota.

Morrison's wife is in a critical condition in a Czech hospital while Spronk's and Wetzell's husbands were treated at a local hospital and released, notes.

The U of M confirmed Morrison's death to KSTP. He worked for the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine with his research focused on the analysis of production and financial records from swine herds.

The six were driving in a rented Mitsubishi Outlander at the time, KSTP notes, with Morrison and one of the women killed immediately in the crash. The other died in a hospital in the northern Czech city of Liberec.

Paying tribute

Spronk worked as a mentor and boutique designer for mentoring and life coaching company Atlas for Life in Pipestone, which paid tribute to her on Facebook.

"Due to the tragic loss of Deb Spronk on Tuesday May 2nd, Atlas for Life will be closed till further notice," it said, adding: "She will be greatly missed."

According to her bio on Atlas for Life, Spronk had lived in Pipestone for 35 years with her husband, who is a veterinarian with the Pipestone System. They have three children who live in the Twin Cities and three grandchildren.

Crossroads Church in Albert Lea paid tribute to Wetzell, posting on Facebook: "We are at a loss for words as we learned that one of our beloved friends went home to be with the Lord today.

"Pam's contagious love for Jesus has no doubt impacted our church family greatly and the way she loved those around her was such a sweet reflection of her heart and depth of love for the Lord. Pam is one of a kind and there was no one like her."

Her husband works as a professional services veterinarian with Iowa-based Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, notes.

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