Gosh, I don't know what to say.
I am blessed, living in Texas. No rust on most any kind of vehicle. I know many face your concerns and will tackle a restoration. Heck, I ain't scared. It is just too easy to find a nice one here.
To your concerns, given that it has been up in the rust belt and also has been in an accident, not knowing the degree of, umm, wear, I would replace it.
As we all know, it is usually better to spend a little more when buying one than to get a fixer upper and spend the money it would take to get it in good shape.