5 fatal crashes since Thursday as deadliest days of summer on Minnesota roads wind down

There have been at least five deadly crashes on Minnesota roads since Thursday.
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The 100 deadliest days of summer on Minnesota roads are winding down ahead of Labor Day, but the number of deadly crashes continue to rise, with multiple fatalities reported in recent days. 

For the year, there have been at least 245 deaths on Minnesota roads, per data from the state's Office of Traffic Safety. That's 20 more than there were at the same point in 2019, when the state tallied 364 traffic-related fatalities for the year. 

It's unclear if the Department of Public Safety has updated the 2020 numbers to include a fatal pedestrian-motorcycle crash in Minneapolis from Monday, or any of the four deadly crashes that are detailed below. 

Bicyclist killed after being struck by driver in St. Paul

Saint Paul PD announced Monday that a 50-year-old bicyclist died at the hospital after being struck by an 18-year-old driver around 2:10 p.m. last Friday, Aug. 28. 

The 18-year-old told police that it was raining hard at the time of the collision and that he attempted to brake when he saw the bicyclist come from a path from near Shepard Road and Otto Ave. The bicyclist, identified as Timothy F. Nordmeyer, was treated by paramedics at the scene but died at the hospital. 

The driver and a 16-year-old passenger were not injured, but a 19-year-old passenger in the car was treated for a cut on his face after the roof of the car partially collapsed. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, police said. 

Woman, 30, dies in rollover crash in Crow Wing County

On Monday the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office issued a news release about a fatal crash that happened early Saturday – around 1:45 a.m. – near County Road 16 and Peoria Road in rural Pequot Lakes. The release said 30-year-old Lorn M. Lund, of Pine River, was traveling eastbound on County Road 16 when she left the roadway and rolled the car several times. 

Lund was ejected and fatally pinned by the vehicle, which came to a rest in the parking lot of a roofing business, the sheriff's office said. 

Driver of stolen pickup killed in Blue Earth County crash

The Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office also issued a release Monday regarding a fatal crash that happened Saturday when the driver of a 2012 Dodge pickup that was northbound on County Road 53 south of Pemberton "ran off the road, vaulted and rolled after hitting a field approach." 

The sheriff's office said the driver, 20-year-old Ezequiel A. Balderas, of Rochester, was fatally ejected in the crash. Balderas was driving a pickup that had been reported stolen to Austin Police Department about an hour before the crash. 

Authorities said the crash was not the result of a police chase and that "law enforcement was not present when it occurred." 

Head-on crash in Stearns County

Last Thursday, Aug. 27, a head-on crash in Holding Township – about 1.5 miles northwest of Holdingford – happened around 7:25 p.m. when one motorist attempted to pass another driver near the crest of a hill. 

According to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, a 21-year-old Holdingford man was driving a 1994 Chevy pickup when he attempted to pass another vehicle going northbound on 190th Ave. As he was passing near the crest of a hill he collided head-on with a southbound motorist. 

A 911 caller told dispatch that one of the vehicles was on fire and the driver of the other vehicle was trapped inside and not responding. 

The southbound driver, identified as Russell Heitzman, 33, of Avon, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 21-year-old who tried to make the passing maneuver was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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