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Minnesota boy struck by tree in Sunday storm improves in hospital

A teenager from southern Minnesota who was struck by a falling tree while camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on Sunday night was upgraded to serious condition Wednesday at a Duluth hospital.

A teenager from southern Minnesota who was struck by a falling tree while camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on Sunday night was upgraded to serious condition Wednesday at a Duluth hospital.

Jacob Walz, 14, of Rochester, was at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he was first airlifted following the Sunday night incident on Duncan Lake, about 3 miles northeast of Trail Center and just south of the Canadian border, the Cook County Sheriff's Office reported.

Walz’s father, 43-year-old Craig Walz, died at the scene and his body was recovered Monday. Craig Walz was a high school teacher and the brother of U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Mankato.

The incident was reported to authorities Sunday at about 10:25 p.m.

The father-son duo was accompanied on the trip by another adult male and juvenile male, who were unharmed. The camp was “in direct line of the severe weather when it hit,” the sheriff’s office said.

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According to a CaringBridge website set up by Jacob’s family, the teen suffered two broken femurs, a broken wrist and broken ankle along with having his back broken in two places. He underwent surgery Wednesday and was awake and talking to family members on Thursday.

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