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Two die in county traffic accidents

A New Richmond teenager and a Spring Valley motorcyclist were killed in separate traffic accidents over the past week.

Thomas A. Ellefson, 51, Spring Valley, died as result of injuries suffered early Sunday in a single-vehicle mishap at the intersection of Rose Lane and County BB in Baldwin.

Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said Ellefson was driving a 2004 Honda VTX cycle at about 2:36 a.m. when he failed to stop at a sign. He lost control, slid across County BB and was thrown from the motorcycle.

Ellefson was taken to the Baldwin hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, the sheriff's report said.

A New Richmond teenager died in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon in the town of Richmond.

The sheriff said Erik F. Ness, 17, was traveling south on 120th Street at 3:59 p.m. Oct. 23 when he failed to stop at a sign at the intersection with 130th Avenue.

A grain truck, owned by Countryside Cooperative of Durand and driven by Larry Reckin, 59, Elmwood, was eastbound on 130th Avenue and collided with Ness' 1995 Plymouth Neon. Ness, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the car, the accident report said.

The truck careened into the south ditch, went through a fence and stopped in a field.

The St. Croix County medical examiner said Ness died at the scene.

Ellefson and Ness marked the eighth and ninth traffic deaths on county roadways this year compared with 18 total in 2007.