Authorities say alcohol was believed to have been a factor in a one-vehicle rollover crash that killed a man from Melrose, Minn., and injured a second person in the vehicle.
Pedro Gomez Dela Cruz, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash early Tuesday near the intersection of County Road 186 and Sherwood Road in Grove Township, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies were sent to the scene a few miles west of Melrose just before 3 a.m. Tuesday when a passing motorist reported a Dodge Durango overturned and saw a person lying unconscious in a ditch. The 2005 Sport Utility Vehicle failed to make a curve on County Road 186, went into the ditch and hit a field approach, which caused it to roll, the sheriff’s office said.
As Melrose police officers were responding to the crash, they encountered a 38-year-old man walking east on County Road 186. The man, who had been in the Durango, was not seriously hurt and was taken to CentraCare Hospital in Melrose. He was identified as Luis Valencia.
It was not clear if Gomez Dela Cruz or Valencia was driving, but “alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash,” said Sheriff Steve Soyka.
The crash is under investigation.