A teenage driver in a pickup truck pulling a camper lost control on an icy freeway south of the Twin Cities metro area early Wednesday and slid into oncoming traffic. A driver heading in the opposite direction who struck the camper was killed, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
Matthew Kling, 44, of Lonsdale, Minn., died in the crash. He was driving a Chevy Cruze, and was wearing a seat belt, the patrol said.
The teen, Noah Patrick Finch, 19, of Farmington, and a passenger in his Chevy Silverado, Logan James Kittock, 18, of Farmington, were not hurt. Both were wearing seat belts, said Sgt. Troy Christenson of the State Patrol.
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, the patrol said.
The camper flipped on its side and blocked the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 around 5 a.m. A second vehicle struck the camper, but the driver of that vehicle, Alex Robert Degezelle, 27, of Owatonna, was not hurt, Christenson said.
Images captured by a Minnesota Department of Transportation camera showed a fourth vehicle that had stopped at the scene.
The crash forced authorities to shut down the northbound lanes of I-35 at the Hwy. 19 interchange for more than five hours as a crash reconstruction team investigated and the wreckage was hauled away.
Traffic was backed up for 3 miles at times and delays persisted throughout the morning as motorists using the heavily used commuting route between southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities were diverted onto the off ramp at Hwy. 19 and back up the entrance ramp on the other side, said Mike Dougherty of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
One lane of the northbound freeway reopened about 11:15 a.m., MnDOT said.
A light dusting of snow that fell overnight turned roads in the area slick and may have been a contributing factor, Dougherty said.