Two motorists from the same tiny town in far southeastern Minnesota were killed in separate head-on crashes that occurred about eight hours and roughly 35 miles apart, authorities said.
The first collision happened about 7 a.m. Tuesday on Hwy. 52 just south of Chatfield in Fillmore County, according to the State Patrol.
Enos D. Swartzentruber, 19, of Mabel, was killed when his northbound car struck a car in the southbound lane, the patrol said. The other car’s occupants, driver Donnette J. Goldsmith, 38, of Preston, Minn., and 8-year-old Shawntae Goldsmith, were hospitalized in Rochester and are expected to survive.
About 3 p.m. on Hwy. 44, Jerilyn G. Knowlton, 69, another resident of Mabel, was heading east in the westbound lane and hit a semitrailer truck, according to the patrol. The big rig’s driver, George W. Opperman, 50, of Waukon, Iowa, was slightly hurt.
Authorities had no immediate explanation for why the vehicles of the drivers who died ended up on the wrong side of a two-lane highway.
Mabel has a population of fewer than 800.