The State Patrol said a St. Paul man was killed in a fiery head-on crash early Thursday on a two-lane highway in Isanti County.
Two other people were injured, including a woman who was extricated from a full-size SUV after police used their squad cars to push her vehicle away from the man’s burning vehicle.
“The deputies, realizing that if they did not get the SUV moved, it was likely that it would start on fire and the pinned driver likely would die if that SUV started on fire,” said Sheriff Chris Caulk.
Deputies were called to the intersection of Hwy. 95 and Zodiac Street about 2:15 a.m. after a westbound Buick Century driven by Jameson W. Fjelstad, 31, crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound GMC Yukon.
The car burst into flames and Fjelstad, who was trapped in the car, died at the scene, authorities said.
Riding in the SUV were Rosario Garcia, 36, of Mora, Minn., and 12-year-old Ashley Cardoso.
Cardoso escaped the SUV, but Garcia was pinned inside and deputies at first were unable to get her out.
As the fire was about to spread to the SUV, deputies used their squad cars to push it out of the way. Crews from the North Branch Fire Department got Garcia out of the SUV and put out the fire in the other vehicle.
Garcia was taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids with serious injuries. Cardoso suffered noncritical injuries.
A patrol reconstruction team is investigating the crash.