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University of Minnesota professor, two Minnesota women die in crash in Czech Republic

Bob Morrison Photo courtesy University of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- A University of Minnesota veterinary professor and two other Minnesota women have died in a collision in the Czech Republic.

According to a statement, the three died Tuesday while traveling to a swine health management conference in Prague.

Bob Morrison, 64, a professor in the swine division at the University of Minnesota, died when their SUV collided with a truck north of Prague.

Also killed were Deb Spronk, 60, of Pipestone, Minn., wife of swine veterinarian Gordon Spronk, and Pam Wetzell, 59, wife of Tom Wetzell, a professional services veterinarian in Cleveland, Minn., with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica.

Morrison’s wife, Jeanie, 63, is in critical condition, said a report in Successful Farming magazine’s website.

Gordon Spronk and Tom Wetzell were treated at a local hospital and released.

The Spronks are longtime Pipestone residents who helped develop the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic that has expanded into a multistate business that offers partnerships with farmers to raise pigs on farms throughout the region called the Pipestone System.

Morrison, described by his dean as “an international leader in the swine industry,” coordinated annual conferences in St. Paul and Nanjing, China. He joined the University of Minnesota in 1986 and was a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine.

He lived in Roseville, near his office on the U’s St. Paul campus.“This is a tragic loss for the strong team of students and faculty that Bob helped us build,” said Trevor Ames, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morrison family.”
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