MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Four people were killed in separate crashes on Minnesota roads Sunday morning — two of whom were pedestrians.
The Minnesota State Patrol says the first crash involved a pedestrian and a semi-truck on Interstate 94W in Sauk Centre Township at about 4:21 a.m. The driver of the semi, 29-year-old Jason Leonard Runge from Eagle Bend, was not hurt.
The second pedestrian-involved crash was a fatal hit-and-run that happened at about 6:09 a.m. on Highway 25 near 163rd Street in Little Falls. Forty-year-old Joseph John Herold, of Pierz, was walking southbound on the highway when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The state patrol says it was dark and foggy in the area at the time.
The third crash occurred in Duluth at about 9:28 a.m. on the 5400 block of Jean Duluth Road, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office. Authorities were notified of a “severely damaged vehicle” in a ditch that looked like it was abandoned, but deputies soon found a deceased man inside, later identified as Anthony Louis Makela III. Investigators believe Makela, who was the lone occupant, drove off the road, hit a driveway embankment, went airborne, hit two trees about 15 feet in the air, then landed on the vehicle’s roof.
The fourth fatal crash of the morning happened near Kellogg in Greenfield Township at about 11:10 a.m. on Highway 61 and Country Road 81. A Chevrolet Silverado, driven by 18-year-old Cole Michael Peterson of Kellogg, collided at the intersection with a Buick LaCrosse driven by 83-year-old Jean Marie Sullivan of Wabasha. Sullivan was killed; Peterson was not hurt. Both were wearing seat belts.
Alcohol isn’t believed to be a factor in the Sauk Centre Township and Greenfield Township crashes, but it isn’t clear if that’s the case in the Duluth and Little Falls crashes — the latter involving a hit-and-run driver who has yet to be located.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office is still investigating the Duluth crash, while the state patrol is investigating the three others.