By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Alcohol is believed to have played a role in a fatal head-on crash early Wednesday morning in northern Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the crash happened shortly before 1 a.m. on Highway 371 in Wilkinson Township, just northwest of Leech Lake.

A Ford pickup truck traveling north on the highway collided with a southbound Pontiac Grand Prix near the Oak Point Road intersection. The truck then rolled into the ditch.

Killed in the crash was the Pontiac’s driver, 23-year-old Darlene Mae Johnson of Bemidji. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the pickup truck, 24-year-old Steven James Lasser of Roseville, suffered life-threatening injuries. Emergency crews brought him to Sanford Hospital West Fargo for treatment.

Investigators say Lasser had been drinking prior to the crash.