Two people in a minivan were airlifted to a hospital following a serious injury crash involving a semitrailer truck Wednesday morning on Hwy. 23 east of Paynesville, the State Patrol said.

The minivan driver apparently crossed the center line near 263rd Avenue around 10:08 a.m. An oncoming semitrailer truck attempted to swerve out of the way but struck the minivan.

"It was an off-set hit, not head on," said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.

The minivan's driver and a passenger in the rear were flown to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said Hwy. 23 east of Paynesville remained closed as of early Wednesday afternoon.

The highway is closed between 263rd Avenue and 276th Avenue between Paynesville and Roscoe.

Motorists are being detoured via 276th Avenue to 180th Street to 263rd Avenue back to state Hwy. 23.

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