Press release provided by the Isanti County Sheriff's Office

A Fridley man has died after the Ford Explorer he was driving crossed over the centerline and struck another vehicle.

According to a press release from the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office, on Feb. 25, at 6:37 p.m, Isanti County Communications received a call of a personal injury accident on County Road 5 and Dimaggio Street Northeast in North Branch Township.

Upon arrival, deputies found that two vehicles were involved with two people injured. Deputies learned that a Ford Explorer, driven by James Gilbertson, 79, of Fridley, was traveling eastbound when he crossed over the centerline and struck a Chevrolet Colorado, driven by Thomas Pankan of Isanti. Pankan tried to avoid the crash but was struck on the front passenger side of the vehicle and was transported to Fairview Lakes Wyoming. His condition is currently unknown.

Gilbertson was unresponsive at the scene and was transported to Fairview Wyoming hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Emergency personnel assisting at the scene were North Branch Police Department, North Branch Fire Department, Isanti County Safety Rescue, Lakes Region EMS and Life Link.

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