On February 10 at 11:02 p.m., the Stearns County Emergency Communications Center received a call reporting a single vehicle crash, with injuries, at County Road 72 and 435TH Ave. in Sauk Centre Township. This is approximately 2 miles west of the City of Sauk Centre.
Sauk Centre police officers first responded and found a vehicle in the south ditch of County Road 72. Stearns County deputies arrived on scene and found the driver, identified as Douglas Grant Zimmel, 25, of Sauk Centre, already being treated by the Sauk Centre Fire Department and Sauk Centre Ambulance.
The investigation determined that Zimmel was driving his 2015 Chevrolet Silverado east on Co. Rd. 72 near 435th Ave. when he veered off the roadway and entered the ditch. The vehicle went through a barbed wire fence before coming to a stop. A wooden fence post pierced the fire wall of the truck and struck the driver’s seat. The airbags in the vehicle did not deploy and deputies were unable to determine if Zimmel was wearing a seatbelt. Zimmel was transported to the Sauk Centre Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Alcohol and cell phone use are believed to have been factors and the crash remains under investigation.
The following agencies assisted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office: Sauk Centre Police Department, Sauk Centre Fire Department, and Sauk Centre Ambulance.