I extend my sincere condolences to the family, firefighters, and friends touched by this tragedy!
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ESKO, Minn. (AP) - An Esko volunteer firefighter was killed
Monday when he was hit by a car on the interstate south of Duluth,
where he and others were fighting a car fire.
The firefighter, Kim Granholm, 29, was struck by a car that was
rear-ended by a pickup truck. The car was slowing down to pass the
burning vehicle when it was hit by the truck.
Three firefighters, an Esko police officer, the driver of the
car that was on fire, and the driver of one of the car that was hit
by the truck were also injured. They were taken by ambulance to
Duluth hospitals
"It was absolute chaos," Nylund said. "Our officer said he
saw bodies flying everywhere."
The State Patrol said the chain reaction crash started about
7:20 a.m. in the left lane of the freeway and ended on the right
shoulder, where the firefighters were tending to the car fire.
The pickup involved in the crash left the scene but was found a
short time later by Hermantown police. The driver was being held
Monday night in the Carlton County jail and may be charged with
leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
The incident began when Esko firefighters arrived on the scene
of a burning Corvette at 7:09 a.m. on the northbound side of
Interstate 35 about 12 miles south of Duluth.
At 7:21, state trooper Aaron Churness arrived on the scene just
as the chain reaction accident was happening.
The pickup truck struck the car that had slowed down, which
careened off an Esko police car and slammed into the rear end of
the burning car.
"Although some of the firefighters may have seen the crash
coming and avoided it by running, Granholm appears to have been
struck by the Caprice," the state patrol said in a statement.
He was unresponsive at the scene and died later during surgery
in a Duluth hospital.
Esko Fire Chief Jeff Juntunen said Granholm had a wife and two
children. He had joined the department in December 1998.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press