MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family is mourning after a St. Paul father was killed by a drunk driver in Isanti County Thursday night.

Thirty-one-year-old Michael Becker was driving north on Highway 65 at about 11 p.m. when another driver veered into his lane and hit him head-on.

His family says the father of three was visiting his daughter in Mora when the crash happened.

“With a head-on crash, the challenge is the impact,” Minnesota State Patrol’s Lt. Tiffani Schweigart said. “Speeds can be so high that the potential for fatal injuries is very high.”

Schweigart says Michael was not wearing a seat belt, but the accident was not his fault. During the crash, his car was also rear-ended by a vehicle that was traveling behind him. But the two women in that car had non-life threatening injuries.

“Cars, motorcycles, plumbing. He could build things. He was an all-around handyman. He was always good to old ladies, he’d go help them for cookies!” Ashley Becker, Michael’s sister, said.

Michael’s family says he overcame a life-threatening health condition when he was younger, and was a “Make-a-Wish” recipient.

“He got his life together and, you know, loved his three kids and his family and his sisters,” cousin Molly Baker said.

And that is what makes this tragedy even harder. Michael’s family had celebrated all he had overcome in life. Now they are mourning his loss.

“You don’t get a chance to … have those good conversations or reiterate how much you love them, you know, or how you appreciate everything he’s done for you,” Ashley said.

The state patrol says the 53-year-old Mora man who hit Michael had been drinking. He was also killed in the crash.

Investigators are still working to notify his family.

John Lauritsen

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