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I-35 rest stop janitor run over, killed on job

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CLOQUET — Greg Blackburn was just doing one of his jobs Wednesday evening — as janitor at the Mahtowa rest stop along Interstate 35 in Carlton County — when he was run over by the driver of a pickup truck.

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Blackburn, 62, of Cloquet, was killed, and the driver of the truck that hit him fled the scene and led law enforcement on a 25-mile-long high-speed chase. The pursuit ended when Minnesota State Patrol troopers ran a pickup truck driver off the road in Hermantown.

Relatives on Thursday identified Blackburn as the victim. He had worked in the maintenance job at the Minnesota Department of Transportation rest stop for about five years, they said. Blackburn was also a contract newspaper carrier for the Duluth News Tribune.

A 55-year-old rural Duluth man arrested after the hit-and-run and high-speed chase is in the Carlton County jail. The Carlton County Attorney’s Office said he’s expected to be charged this morning.

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