Minnesota DNR conservation officer killed in crash with semi

Times Report
Crookston Times

    A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer died while on duty following a two-vehicle crash Monday, May 24, near Grand Rapids.

    Officer Sarah Grell, 39, of Cohasset, was stationed in Grand Rapids and leaves behind a husband and three children. She served as a conservation officer since 2005 and, the DNR said in identifying her as the crash victim, “had a deeply held dedication to serving Minnesota’s people and natural resources. She was part of a proud family legacy – her uncle, father and grandfather also worked as conservation officers. Her husband Gene works for DNR’s Forestry Division and her mother worked for DNR Fisheries until her retirement.”

    “The sense of loss we feel right now is indescribable,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “We are heartbroken for her family. Our deepest sympathies and concerns are with them. Officer Grell leaves behind an incredible legacy of service to Minnesota’s people and natural resources.”

    “Officer Grell was the epitome of a public servant and served the Enforcement Division, the DNR, and the people of Minnesota with distinction,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director. “Her loss is devastating, and we ask the people of Minnesota to keep Officer Grell and her family in their thoughts during this difficult time.”

    Conservation officers have protected Minnesota’s natural resources and people since 1887. Officer Grell is the 23rd Minnesota conservation officer to die in the line of duty. Funeral arrangements are still being made.

    The Minnesota State Patrol is leading the investigation of the crash. The patrol says Grell's pickup was hit broadside by the semi in Lawrence Township about 8:30 a.m. A 42-year-old Grand Rapids man was driving the semi, the patrol said.

Sarah Grell