March 1st marks: “Annual Appreciation Day for Auto-body Repair Shops across Minnesota.”
Born on this day, were not bicycle mechanics J. Frank and Charles Duryea of Springfield, Massachusetts, who together designed the first successful American gasoline automobile in 1893.
Information of interest around our local community:
A Wannaska area bodyshop and private auto-insurance company owner was discovered to have staged deer collisions with cars by using frozen deer carcasses (Minnesota road-killed deer) launched from ditches along Hwy 89 in Roseau and Marshall Counties in Minnesota.
The Yah Shure, You Bend ‘em, We’ll Mend’em Eh bodyshop in Mickinock Township was in collusion with a yet unnamed individual at a Minnesota county highway department garage, who provided the body shop with frozen deer carcasses killed along county roads in exchange for exclusive pheasant hunting privileges, on an estate in South Dakota, owned by the bodyshop/insurance company owner.
Using a backhoe, the deer carcasses were dipped through a large hole in an iced-over farm pond in January and February, plucked out, and quickly staged into various postures such as leaping, stumbling, fast run with tail straight out behind, skidding in an attempt to stop, on trail of doe in estrus, among other life-like poses, before freezing solid. Covered with straw in an abandoned county quonset on county property, the carcasses lasted throughout most of the year, stiffly speaking.
The ingenious carcass launcher is essentially a portable gigantic crossbow apparatus powered by tractor tire inner tubes and winched into its firing position using an ATV. Carcasses were loaded onto an oiled ramp and shot from concealment in county road ditches at on-coming vehicles whose parts were in-stock that month.
Suspicions were aroused when the bodyshop consistently had just the right parts and paint on-hand for the damaged vehicles and all repaired within 48 hours, thus insuring rapid turn-around of vehicle body repair work and completion of insurance claims.
Care was undertaken to insure no minors were passengers nor underage drivers, in targeted vehicles. Investigation is on-going, by township constable Iclic Vermer of Palmville.