Two motorists were killed in separate crashes during first-of-the-season wintry driving conditions in rural Minnesota, authorities said Wednesday.
Shortly after 5:20 a.m. Wednesday in east-central Minnesota, a pickup truck heading south on slick Interstate 35 south of Harris swerved to avoid a deer, rolled into the median and flung the driver into the northbound lanes, according to the State Patrol.
A car then struck the man, a 29-year-old from Harris, the patrol said. The man, whose identity has yet to be released, was wearing dark clothing and did not have on his seat belt, the patrol added.
Late Tuesday evening in southwestern Minnesota, a compact car and a semitrailer truck heading in opposite directions collided on a two-lane highway, killing the driver of the smaller vehicle, according to the patrol.
The collision occurred on icy Hwy. 23 in Pipestone County, killing Amy L. Redenius, 26, of Pipestone, the patrol said. Authorities have yet to say which vehicle was in the wrong lane.
The Twin Cities escaped the worst of the snow that slapped the Upper Midwest overnight, but icy conditions created havoc on the roads during the metro's Wednesday morning commute.
At least one person was airlifted to a hospital after a crash on Hwy. 169 at Broadway in Jordan. The original report is that two vehicles went off the road around 7:35 a.m. It's now being classified as a serious injury accident, according to the patrol.
The early rush hour was littered with crashes and spinouts, including a pair on I-494 in the vicinity of Hwy. 212 and in the I-35/Hwy. 280/Hwy. 36 commons in Roseville. Bridge decks and ramps were problematic throughout the metro as temperatures hovered around freezing.
Conditions were especially slick in the south and west metro. At 6:35 a.m., Chanhassen police shut down part of Hwy. 5 at Powers Boulevard after a spinout and crash involving up to five vehicles blocked the road.
In addition, a crash that included a rollover blocked the left lane on northbound I-35 at 210th Street in Lakeville.
Most of the metro area received less than 2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. However, Richfield had 3 inches by 6 a.m., and a bit to the west, Watertown had 3.5 inches. On the north edge of the metro area, Monticello reported 4.5 inches.