JASPER - A 67-year-old Ruthton male died Monday as a result of an afternoon crash on Minnesota 23 in Rock County’s Rose Dell Township.


According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2013 Ford F-150 operated by Kevin J. Wheeler, 37, of Tea, S.D. was northbound on Minnesota 23, while a 2014 Cadillac SRX operated by the Ruthton male, Earl D. Gruis, was southbound. The Ford crossed the center line in wet road conditions and struck the Cadillac head-on near milepost 13. The crash was reported at 12:36 p.m.


Wheeler was transported to Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, S.D. with a life-threatening injury. A passenger in the Ford, Jeremiah J.C. Williams, 32, of Monroe, S.D., was taken to Pipestone County Medical Center with a non-life-threatening injury.


Gruis was the lone occupant of the Cadillac. His identity was released Tuesday morning.


The Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Pipestone/Jasper Fire Department and Ambulance, and North Memorial Ambulance assisted at the scene. Minnesota 23 was closed for a majority of Monday afternoon before re-opening for one-lane traffic,