Teenager taken to St. Marys Hospital in critical condition after crash west of Hayward

Published 12:35 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

An Albert Lea teenager was flown by Mayo One helicopter to St. Marys Hospital in critical condition Thursday evening after a crash on Freeborn County Road 46 about one mile west of Hayward.

The condition of the teenager, Francisco Lopez, 17, was unknown as of Friday morning.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office stated Lopez was driving a 2013 Ford Explorer westbound on Freeborn County Road 46 west of 800th Avenue and had passed two vehicles when he struck the driver’s side wheel well of an eastbound 2020 Ford F-350 dually and the trailer that was being hauled behind it.

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The report stated the driver of the pickup, Brody Skjervem, 22, of Brownsdale, tried to move his vehicle over to the shoulder when he saw the Explorer coming but was unable to get it all the way over.

After the crash, the Explorer came to rest on County Road 46 partially on the road and partially on the shoulder, and the truck and trailer went into the south ditch, with the trailer landing on its side.

Lopez had to be extricated from the Explorer, and his passenger, an 8-year-old boy, was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System by ambulance as a precautionary measure for non life-threatening injuries. Mayo One helicopter landed on County Road 46 to pick up Lopez.

Skjervem and his passenger, Coelee Kristofer Smalley, 23, of Austin, were not injured.