The number of people who have died on Minnesota roads this year passed the 200 mark Monday when a semi driver was killed in a rear-end crash involving another big rig northwest of Duluth, the State Patrol said.
A 52-year-old man from Chisholm, Minn., was driving a semitrailer truck north on Hwy. 53 about 4 p.m. when he stuck another semitrailer truck from behind at the intersection of Shipley Road in St. Louis County.
The Chisholm man was killed. The driver of the semi that was hit, a 39-year-old man from St. Joseph, Minn., was not hurt, the patrol said.
On Saturday, Avery Mikel, 19, of Park Rapids, was killed in a one-vehicle crash on 190th Street northwest of Park Rapids, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office said.
With the recent fatal crashes, the state has seen 201 deaths on state roads, or about the same number of deaths as reported at this time last year, according to preliminary numbers released on Monday by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.
Drunken driving, lack of seat-belt use, distracted driving and speeding contributed to the majority of fatalities on Minnesota roads, the Office of Traffic Safety said.
Of the 201 deaths, 27 have been motorcyclists, 26 pedestrians and four bicyclists.
“We are in the middle of the 100 deadliest days on Minnesota roads,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “With seven weeks left until Labor Day, we need to double our efforts and speak up when we see a dangerous driver.
“Each one of us needs to commit to safe driving habits,” she said, “and we need every community in our state to stand together and say ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to deaths on our roads.”
Last year, 411 people were killed on state roads.