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South Dakota woman, 85, identified after fatal tractor-van crash

SALEM, S.D. — Authorities on Tuesday identified a Salem woman as the person who died in a tractor-van crash about 35 miles east of Mitchell on Jan. 16.

Helene Eichacker, 85, was the passenger in a 2013 Chrysler Town and Country that crashed into a 1998 John Deere tractor on S.D. Highway 38, about one mile west of Salem. She was airlifted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls and died Thursday as a result of her injuries.

Eichacker had her seat belt on at the time of the crash. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety originally reported she was not wearing her seat belt.

Marlys Elliott, 72, of Salem, was the driver of the Chrysler Town and Country. She suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital in Sioux Falls.

Colin Brown, 28, of Spencer, was the driver of the tractor and was uninjured in the crash. Elliott and Brown were wearing seat belts, authorities said.

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