Alcohol suspected in fatal crash near Melrose

One person was killed and another man suffered injuries.
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One person died and another person suffered injuries in a Stearns County crash. 

A news release from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office reports that the fatal crash was reported around 2:56 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of County Road 186 and Sherwood Road in Grove Township, which is located a few miles west of Melrose. 

The 911 caller reported that one person was unconscious and lying in the ditch. 

On arrival deputies found a 2005 Dodge Durango in the ditch having sustained heavy roof damage. Near the Durango was a man lying in the ditch, who was assessed and pronounced dead at the scene. 

The man has been identified as Pedro Gomez Dela Cruz, 34, of Melrose. 

En route to the crash site, a Melrose police officer found a man walking eastbound on County Road 186. The officer learned that the 38-year-old Melrose man was also in the Durango. He was taken to CentraCare Hospital in Melrose with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, although it's unclear who was driving the vehicle when it failed to take a curve on the road and drove into the ditch, then striking a field approach and rolling. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

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