More Speed and Death On Minnesota Roads

More Speed and Death On Minnesota Roads Click to Enlarge

UNDATED--There were at least eight fatalities on Minnesota roads over the weekend, the deadliest Memorial Day holiday in 10 years.

"While overall crash numbers are down, the severity rate is up, and what's driving that severity rate up is speed. The speeds that the officers, troopers and deputies are seeing out there are really horrific," Mike Hanson, director of the state Traffic Safety Office said.

At the same time, D-W-I arrests over the Memorial Day weekend were 25 percent less than last year -- Hanson says probably because bars and restaurants remain closed until June 1st under the governor's COVID order.

Hanson says reduced traffic due to COVID-19 is one possible reason motorists are making a dangerous decision to drive faster:

"There's less congestion out there, there's more available lane space, so people probably are tempted to push it maybe a little bit faster than they would during more typical traffic conditions."

Troopers cited 232 drivers for going more than 100 mph on Minnesota roads between April 1 and May 21. That compares with 93 during the same time last year -- a 149 percent increase.

The State Patrol handled a couple of the accidents:

Monday, a 16-year-old driver and an adult passenger were killed when their vehicle drifted across the northbound lanes of traffic on Highway 65 at Rice Lake Road in Isanti County, went into the ditch on the north east side of MNTH 65 and collided with a tree. The State Patrol released the names of 16-year-old Abigail Grabow of St. Paul and Amy Grabow of Grant, MN, died in the crash. Another passenger, 12-year-old Vivian Grabow of Grant suffered critical injuries and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Two other passengers, 44 year old Clinton Grabow of Birchwood, MN, had minor injuries and a 14-year-old female was not injured.

Sunday evening, a 22 year old woman from Pipestone was killed after her vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed on the ramp from westbound Highway 55 to Bloomington Road lost control and ran off the road to the right, went down an embankment and rolled several times. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.

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