Two people died in separate crashes Monday in northern Minnesota, adding to the number of traffic fatalities in what has been an especially deadly year on state roads.
According to the State Patrol, Preston Spenst, 51, was eastbound about 6:40 a.m. on Hwy. 34 east of Detroit Lakes when his Toyota RAV4 left the highway at Height of Land Drive and hit a tree.
Spenst, of Audubon, Minn., died at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt, authorities said.
About three hours later, the State Patrol responded to a two-vehicle crash at Hwy. 1 and Pennington County Road 10 in Numedal Township, west of Thief River Falls.
David Anderson, 32, of Bagley, Minn., was on County Road 10 attempting to cross Hwy. 1 in a Plymouth Voyager when he was struck by an eastbound Oldsmobile, authorities said.
The Voyager was pushed into a ditch and rolled. Anderson, who was wearing a seat belt and was alone in the car, was taken to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., where he later died.
The Oldsmobile driver, Jesse Waldorf, 25, of Warren, Minn., was also taken to Altru with noncritical injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt, authorities said.
Alcohol was not believed to have been a factor in either crash, according to the State Patrol.
The fatalities were the 328th and 329th of the year in Minnesota. There were 364 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in all of 2019, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.