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Northwest Minnesota man fatally hit by car while kneeling on road identified

BAUDETTE, Minn. -- Investigators have released the name of a Baudette man who was fatally hit by a car while he was kneeling in the middle of the road last weekend near Lake of the Woods.

Nicholas Marcel Hoffman, 39, died after a 2003 Buick Century driven by 36-year-old Jon Bryan Haney of Rochester, Minn., hit him about 11:20 p.m. Sunday, according to a crash report from the Minnesota State Patrol. Investigators said Haney was eastbound on County Road 8 when he noticed Hoffman kneeling in the roadway just west of state Highway 172, or about 10 miles northwest of Baudette. Haney told officers he tried to swerve to avoid hitting Hoffman, but the motorist still collided with the pedestrian, according to the news release.

It’s unclear why Hoffman was kneeling in the roadway or whether Haney will face charges, but it appears neither had alcohol in their systems. The crash remains under investigation.

Baudette is about 100 miles north of Bemidji.

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