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Douglas County library director dies in foggy crash

By Al Edenloff

Alexandria Echo Press

GLENWOOD - Karen Simmons, 62, of Glenwood, director of the Douglas County Library, died Monday morning in a two-vehicle crash near Glenwood in central Minnesota.

The broadside collision happened about 7:45 a.m. on Minnesota Highway 29 and Pope County Road 28 north of Glenwood, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Simmons was driving a 2013 Nissan Maxima.

The other driver involved was Haley Klimek, 19, of Lowry. She suffered minor injuries, the State Patrol said. She was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado.

Simmons was driving north on Highway 29 while Klimek was eastbound on County Road 28. Klimek approached the intersection and struck the Nissan, the State Patrol said. It was very foggy and the roads were wet. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and traveling alone.

Simmons died at the scene. Klimek was transported to the Glenwood hospital. The Pope County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

The library closed at noon Monday in response to the crash. Storytimes have been canceled for the week and will resume March 4.

Funeral arrangements were pending Tuesday morning.

Simmons was hired as library director by the Douglas County commissioners in January 2011. She served as interim director starting in October 2009, when Trish Conroy retired. Simmons had worked as the assistant library director, as well as the children’s librarian, a combined service of more than 20 years.

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