ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – State officials said Wednesday preliminary numbers show Minnesota had the lowest number of crash deaths in 2017 in more than 70 years.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says there were 348 traffic deaths last year. It’s the lowest number since 1943 and second-lowest since 1926.

Of the 343 reported deaths, 52 were motorcyclists, 38 were pedestrians and six were bicyclists. Of the crashes, 98 involved alcohol, 82 were speed related, 80 involved unbelted motorists and 16 were connected to distracted driving.

The most fatal crashes happened in June with 41. October was second with 39, August was third at 36. Of the people killed, 61 were adults ages 21-30.

The 348 deaths last year is down dramatically from 392 last year and 411 in 2015.

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