Traffic Fatalities Reported Near Bemidji in Eckles Township
Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel has released details on two recent fatalities on roadways in Eckles Township near Bemidji.
On August 25 around 5:30 AM, a bicyclist died after being struck by a vehicle on Cardinal Road just northwest of Bemidji. Based on the preliminary investigation from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Romel D. Baker of Illinois was riding his bike in all dark clothing in the center to center-right of the road when he was hit by a southbound vehicle driving by 30-year-old Dwight Wendorff of Bemidji.
Wendorff was not injured in the crash and alcohol was not a factor. Baker died at the scene and was transported to Sanford Bagley Ambulance to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. That report and a toxicology report are pending.
The Sheriff’s Office also reported another traffic fatality that happened earlier in August, a single-vehicle crash that happened around 7:30 at night on August 13. This crash also happened northwest of Bemidji on Cardinal Road between Balsam Road and the Bemidji Regional Airport.
67-year-old Dale Bushman of Bemidji died at the scene. The results of the complete autopsy and toxicology are still pending.
The preliminary investigation of the crash revealed that the vehicle left the roadway and overturned. An accident reconstruction is pending with the Minnesota State Patrol.