The death toll on icy roads during Minnesota’s late-week snowstorm rose to four Saturday after an apparent good Samaritan was fatally struck by a car in Plymouth.
Police in the northwest metro city said a pedestrian who was helping a driver whose car had spun out was hit by another vehicle that had spun out around 12:15 a.m. Saturday on Hwy. 169. The pedestrian, whose name has not been released, died at the scene.
The fatality occurred during a rash of crashes late Friday and early Saturday concentrated in the west and north metro, where roads glazed over after late precipitation and a dip in temperatures.
According to police scanner reports, witnesses and officers at the Plymouth crash found a body in a ditch that had not come from either of the cars involved.
About three hours earlier, Clarence A. Coker, 58, of St. Paul, was killed when his pickup truck spun out and rolled over 2½ times in a ditch along Hwy. 169 in Princeton, in central Minnesota, according to the State Patrol. Coker was wearing a seat belt and alcohol was not involved, the patrol said.
West of Duluth, semitrailer truck driver Christopher M. Lucia, 44, of Duluth, died at 4:40 a.m. Friday when he crashed into the icy St. Louis River. The rig slid off Interstate 35 on an overpass near Scanlon, the patrol said. Hours later, authorities recovered Lucia’s body from the river.
Later that morning, just after 9 a.m., Alvaro A. Rodriguez, 26, of Pierz, Minn., died when he lost control of his southbound car on icy Hwy. 25 in Daggett Brook Township, in Crow Wing County, and was struck by a northbound semitrailer truck, the patrol said. The truck driver, Rodney A. Lund, 60, of Fargo, was not hurt. Both were wearing seat belts.
217 crashes, 161 spinouts
From 12:01 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Friday, the span of the storm, there were 217 crashes statewide, including the two fatalities, 25 with injuries, as well as 161 spinouts, according to the patrol.
A total of 10.6 inches of snow fell in Duluth, breaking the city’s record for daily snowfall on Oct. 27.
The city typically sees about 1 inch of snow in October. Friday marked the second-highest one-day snowfall total for October in city history.
Nearly 11 inches fell near Scanlon, 10.2 in Hermantown, 10 in Finland, 9 in Holyoke, 8.3 in Chisholm and 8 in Moose Lake.
Two other road fatalities reported Thursday and Friday do not appear to be linked to weather conditions.
One person died Friday in a two-vehicle crash in New Brighton. The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. at Old Hwy. 8 SW. and 3rd Street SW., according to the city’s Department of Public Safety. A person in one vehicle was killed, authorities said. The driver of the second vehicle was not hurt.
On Thursday, a pedestrian crossing a highway was killed when he was hit by a car in Arden Hills.
Just before 8 p.m., a driver reported hitting the pedestrian, a man who hasn’t yet been identified, while he was crossing Hwy. 51, south of County Road E, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. The pedestrian died at the scene. The driver is cooperating with deputies.
Staff writer Pamela Miller and the Associated Press contributed to this report.