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Woman, 2 young children die in horiffic White Earth crash

A trailer hauling a skidder was pulled from the scene of an accident at Net Lake east of White Earth on Friday. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)

WHITE EARTH -- A mother and her two young sons died in a horrific collision with a construction truck Friday morning on County Road 34 at Net Lake, about four miles east of White Earth.

A 28-year-old woman and her two sons, ages 8 months and 3 years, died after their Ford subcompact collided with a construction pickup truck hauling a flatbed gooseneck trailer that held a skid steer.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said the victims probably will not be identified until Monday, pending notification of relatives.

The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m., when the Ford collided with the oncoming pickup truck, sending both vehicles careening down a steep embankment into Net Lake. The car ended up in about four feet of water. The occupants died in the crash, not by drowning, Gordon said.

The driver of the pickup truck, a rural Osage man, suffered minor injuries and was treated and released.

It took about four hours to clear the scene, Gordon said. "It took a massive amount of equipment to clear this accident scene," he said, including the Jaws of Life and the Becker County Sheriff's Department Dive Team.

County Road 34 was closed in both directions for about five hours.

The White Earth Tribal Police department was first to arrive on the scene, so it is the lead agency handling the crash and will write the accident report, sharing it with other agencies, Gordon said.

The State Patrol will reconstruct the crash. One vehicle was eastbound and one was westbound, but it's not clear which is which at this point, Gordon said.

The state's commercial vehicle division will investigate the pickup truck involved.

Firefighters and ambulance crews from Detroit Lakes and White Earth assisted at the scene.