HOLDINGFORD – Authorities are investigating a head-on crash in rural Holdingford that took the life of an Avon man.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 42000 block of 190th Avenue in Holding Township, about 1.5 miles from Holdingford, on Thursday just before 7:30 p.m. The caller reported one of the two vehicles involved was on fire, and the other vehicle was nearby with the driver unresponsive and trapped inside. The Holdingford Fire Department responded to the scene and began life-saving efforts.

Deputies arrived and spoke with witnesses on scene. Deputies determined that 21-year-old Jacob Westbrock of Holdingford was northbound on 190th Ave. in a pickup. Westbrock attempted to pass another northbound vehicle and crashed with a car, southbound on 190th Ave., driven by 33-year-old Russell Heitzman of Avon.

Heitzman was pronounced dead at the scene. Westbrock was transported to the St Cloud Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Holdingford Fire and Rescue, Mayo Ambulance Service and North Air Care Helicopter. The Minnesota State Patrol also assisted at the scene and will provide crash reconstruction.

The crash remains under investigation.

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