A motorist drifted off an east metro highway in St. Paul and died after his SUV clipped a guardrail and slammed into a concrete pillar, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 7:15 p.m. Sunday on Hwy. 61, south of Lower Afton Road and just south of the Battle Creek Regional Park, according to the State Patrol.

Killed was David J. James, 35, of Maplewood. The patrol said that James was not wearing his seat belt.

Authorities have yet to say what caused the accident.