A woman driving illegally on a restricted license traveled the wrong way on a Minneapolis interstate and struck another vehicle head-on late at night, putting both motorists in the hospital, authorities said.

The collision of the two cars occurred about 12:20 a.m. Friday in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35W, just west of the University of Minnesota, according to the State Patrol.

Claire A. Jacobson, 56, of Minneapolis, who was heading south on the northbound side of the interstate, was in critical condition Friday afternoon at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). The patrol said Jacobson was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

The other driver, heading in the right direction, 32-year-old Janessa J. Sturtz, of Minneapolis, was taken to HCMC and was in satisfactory condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Authorities have yet to address why Jacobson was on the wrong side of the interstate near the 4th Street exit. Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said that as of late Friday morning investigators had yet to question Jacobson, who was unconscious at the time she was taken to the hospital.

An interstate construction project is underway in that general area, but the patrol has yet to determine whether any detours or closures played a role in the crash.

Jacobson was by herself and driving on an instruction permit, meaning she could be behind the wheel only when accompanied by a licensed driver, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Her criminal history in Minnesota includes several alcohol-related convictions, including consuming in public and loitering with an open alcohol container.

Paul Walsh