Sirens RTSA

Preliminary figures from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety show 102 people have died on Minnesota roads since Jan. 1, compared to 82 last year at this time.

The state reported its 100th traffic death (preliminary) on April 21. This is the earliest date reaching the preliminary figure of 100 traffic fatalities in the last six years.

Recent deaths on state roads include:

A pickup driver traveling 80 mph in Wright County sideswiped an SUV at a curve in a construction zone. The pickup ran off the road and overturned a number of times. The unbelted 37-year-old male pickup driver was ejected and died. Alcohol and drug usage are suspected for the pickup driver. The buckled SUV driver was uninjured.

A 52-year-old male motorcyclist was killed in Rice County after driving off the road at a curve and hitting an embankment. The driver was not wearing a helmet and alcohol use is suspected.

A 28-year-old male driver drove onto the sidewalk at a Hopkins intersection, hitting a utility pole, traffic sign, two pedestrians and a tree. One pedestrian was reported to have minor injuries and the other pedestrian died. The driver reportedly was speeding and drug use is suspected.

Two people were killed and one seriously injured in an I-94 Lowry Hill Tunnel crash in Minneapolis. The male driver of the car attempted to enter the tunnel at a high rate of speed. The vehicle struck the freeway barrier wall, rupturing the fuel tank. It came to rest inside the tunnel. The driver was ejected and killed. One passenger died and another passenger was ejected and suffered serious injuries. Alcohol use is suspected.

The breakdown

82 motor vehicle occupants compared with 60 reported this time last year.

2 motorcyclists compared with 3 reported this time last year.

11 pedestrians compared with 13 reported this time last year.

2 bicyclists compared with 2 reported this time last year.

22 deaths involving crashes with heavy vehicle trucks.

51 single-vehicle crashes.

49 multi-vehicle crashes.

Bad choices, tragic results

For the first 100 traffic fatalities, preliminary information shows:

21 alcohol-related deaths (21 percent) compared with 31 this time last year (38 percent).

2 distracted-related deaths (2 percent) compared with 5 this time last year (6 percent).

40 speed-related deaths (40 percent) compared with 22 this time last year (27 percent).

31 unbelted motorist deaths (38 percent) compared with 21 this time last year (35 percent).

“Excessive speed continues to take a horrific and preventable toll on our roads,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Alcohol, distraction, and no seat belts also continue to contribute to the loss of life in 2021. It doesn’t have to be this way, and every Minnesotan has the power to stop the heartache and make choices that keep everyone alive. Drive smart by slowing down, paying attention, planning a sober ride and buckling up.”

(1) comment

Matthew Kajewski

It's a Pandemic! We better shut down all of the highways!

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