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La Crosse men escape serious injury when plane slams into trees near Pickwick, Minn.

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Two La Crosse men escaped serious injury when their plane went through a barbed-wire fence and slammed into a group of trees.

It happened about 5 p.m. Sunday near Pickwick, Minn., in Winona County.


Kenneth Graves, 58, and his passenger, William Blank, 66, were both treated at a Winona hospital and later released.

Sheriff Dave Brand said the two men were having an afternoon of fun as they flew indirectly from La Crosse to Winona.

But the red, single-engine craft started having engine trouble.

Witnesses said the plane was flying at a low altitude when the engine sputtered and died, and the pilot was apparently trying to get it re-started.

Officials said Graves tried to aim his craft at an open farm field, but it ended up hitting the trees at about 30 mph.

One deputy said it was like "hitting a brick wall." Sheriff Brand said the aircraft would have to be taken apart before it can be removed from where it crashed.