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UPDATED: Shevlin woman improves after two-vehicle crash

Emergency workers responded to a 2-vehicle crash at Clay County Road 26 and Highway 9 in Minnesota which resulted in one fatality and two people sent to a Fargo, N.D. hospital in an ambulance on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

GLYNDON, Minn. – A Shevlin woman was upgraded to serious condition Thursday for injuries sustained in a two-vehicle collision near here Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a man who died in the crash was described as a recently retired “workaholic” who had just returned from the first trip he and his wife had ever taken, according to his brother.

“They were really excited about it,” said Bryan Green, brother of Oscar J. Green, 63, of Ulen, who officials say died on scene after the pickup he was a passenger in was struck by a minivan Wednesday afternoon at a rural crossroads about 20 miles northeast of Moorhead.

“He just retired like two years ago,” Bryan Green said Wednesday night. “He just came back from a trip and was on a voyage. First time he’s ever done that with his wife.”

Officials say his wife, Diane F. Green, 63, was driving their pickup at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 9 and Clay County Road 26 at 11:49 a.m. when the driver of a minivan, a Shevlin woman, failed to yield and collided with them, causing the truck to roll and ejecting Oscar Green from the vehicle.

Diane Green was injured and taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. Her condition was not released per family request.

Susan K. Ekre, 57, of Shevlin, was the driver of the van. She also was injured and taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center. As of Wednesday evening, she was listed in critical condition. A Sanford spokeswoman said Thursday that Eckre's condition improved and she is now listed in serious condition.

Rainy, gloomy weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and busy traffic might also have been a factor, said Lt. Dan Vickmarck of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The van was westbound on the county road and the pickup, which had the right of way, was northbound on Highway 9 when the crash occurred. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch at the northwest quadrant of the intersection.

Just hours after the crash, Bryan Green remembered his brother as a hardworking man who was still doing carpentry work in his spare time even after his retirement from TF Powers Construction Co. in Fargo. Despite picking up the extra work, Oscar Green was cherishing having more time to spend with grandchildren, his brother said.

“He was looking forward to retirement,” Bryan Green said.

The large family – 14 brothers and sisters – is still very much in shock, Bryan said Wednesday night, and he wished the best for the driver of the other vehicle.

“It was an accident; It wasn’t intentional,” he said. “But this is a tragedy.”

None of those involved in the accident was wearing seat belts, said Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Only days earlier, officials of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety appeared in Moorhead on Monday to urge motorists to observe safe driving practices, including wearing seat belts.

“But they still need to make that conscious effort,” Grabow said of drivers and passengers. “That’s why we keep reminding and reminding.”

An accident reconstruction team is analyzing the crash, and a report should be available within 30 to 60 days, Grabow said.

Neither driver was cited Wednesday.

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