Three killed in Saturday morning accident

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Three young adults were killed when their car collided with another vehicle two miles southeast of Benson early Saturday morning.

Austin Ardoff, 23, of Raymond, formerly of Clara City, died at the scene. He was a passenger in the car. Another passenger, Autumn McLain, 23, Willmar, and driver Dylan Peterson, 24, Benson, were transferred by ambulance from the scene to Swift County-Benson Health Services and then airlifted out for further care. Peterson later died at the Hennepin County Medical Center and McLain at St. Cloud Hospital. The accident happened around 5 a.m. Saturday.

According to the Swift County Sheriff’s Office report, 49-year-old Robert McGee, Benson, had entered the rural, gravel road intersection at 20th Avenue SE and 30th Street SE when his vehicle was struck by Peterson’s car.

Peterson “did not obey the yield signs” the sheriff’s report states. There are yield signs for east-west traffic at the intersection. Crops at the intersection can partially obscure the view of oncoming traffic. McGee was treated for injuries and released from SCBHS later Saturday morning.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, Sheriff John Holtz’s report states, “and alcohol may be a factor.” The sheriff’s office was assisted at the accident scene by the Benson Police Department, Benson Fire Department, SCBHS Ambulance and Minnesota State Patrol.

Peterson was born Nov. 10, 1992 at the Swift County-Benson Hospital. He was a 2011 graduate of Benson High School and went on to Ridgewater College where he graduated in 2013 from the Auto Body Technology Program. He had worked at Jeff’s Autobody in Pennock, Custom Roto-Mold in Benson, and did custom automotive and detail painting.

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