The deadly crash on a snowy southeastern Minnesota highway is being blamed on a semitrailer truck driver whose big rig slid into oncoming traffic, authorities said Monday.

Killed in the three-vehicle wreck early Sunday afternoon was Justin T. Breza, 21, of Winona, Minn., a passenger in a pickup that was hit by the semi southeast of Red Wing on Hwy. 61 near Wacouta Road, according to the State Patrol.

Breza was not wearing his seat belt while riding with his parents, James and Sonja Breza, both 53, the patrol added. The parents were taken to a hospital in Red Wing with unspecified injuries.

According to the patrol:

Roy A. Becker, 63, of Blaine was driving his semi south on the two-lane highway, when his vehicle went out of control and hit head-on the Brezas' pickup and an SUV that were heading north.

Becker and the Hastings couple in the SUV, Roger C. Claxton, 58, and Constance C. Claxton, 72, were all hospalized in Red Wing. The seriousness of their injuries were not disclosed.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482