Two men from Ellendale were involved in a fatal car crash in Northern Minnesota late last night. The crash, which was reported at 11:12 PM, involved two vehicles, one driven by a 55-year-old Ellendale man, that wound up in a ditch after the collision in Powers Township in Cass County.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol's incident report a 2007 GMC Yukon, being driven by a 55-year-old Jeffrey Joseph Wertish of Ellendale, was traveling northbound on Highway 371 between Hackensack and Backus near 16th St. NW. Before the crash a 2005 Chevrolet Uplander, driven by a 34-year-old Lenny James Steffen of Backus, was eastbound on 16th St. NW.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the Chevrolet failed to stop at Highway 371 and subsequently t-boned the GMC.

Both vehicles subsequently left the roadway and entered the eastern ditch.

The GMC had two passengers in the vehicle, 25-year-old Jared Matthew Wertish from Ellendale and a 59-year-old Robert Charles Nelson of Carver.

Three of the four people involved in the crash died, including Jeffrey Wertish, Robert Nelson, and Lenny Steffen. Jared Wertish was taken to Essentia Brainerd Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The State Patrol noted that both drivers were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.

The State Patrol reported that the road conditions at the time of the crash were dry.

Joining the Minnesota State Patrol at the scene of the crash were the Cass County Sheriff's Office, North Ambulance, and Backus Fire.

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