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Ely man dies in one-vehicle crash

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A one vehicle accident on Hwy. 88 near Ely resulted in the death of a Morse-Fall Lake firefighter and first responder. The accident occurred around 5:40 p.m. Monday night.

William Fearn, 27, was the driver and sole occupant of a 2004 Ford F150 truck traveling east on the 2100 block of Grant McMahan Boulevard when his vehicle went off of the roadway into the north side ditch and struck a power pole. Fearn was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fearn was a member of the Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department and First Responders and was on his way to a training meeting when the accident happened.

“Willie was a very active member of our First Responders. He was kind, caring, compassionate and always willing to help,” said First Responder Coordinator Mike Harri. “We’re really going to miss him on the department.”

Fearn joined fire department in March of 2022 and later that year became a first responder.

“The Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department lost an up and coming member who showed great promise,” said Chief Ted Krueger. “We are all heartbroken in dealing with this difficult situation. Our prayers are with Willie’s family and friends. We will miss Willie and know his loss is something we have to deal with as individuals and as a fire department.

Our thanks to neighboring fire departments who have stepped up and offered to help. That was much appreciated and showed how big the firefighter family is here.”

On Wednesday night when Fearn’s body was brought back to Ely from the Twin Cities, a procession of police, fire and first responder rigs escorted the funeral van into Ely.

People lined the streets in the rain from Zup’s to Kerntz Funeral Home. A massive American flag was held between two fire trucks for the process to drive under.

Funeral services for Fearn are scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Ely.

Responding to the call were St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies assisted by Morse-Fall Lake Fire and First Responders, Ely Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

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