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Attempt to pass on hill ends in fatal crash in Stearns County

A Thursday night crash has left one driver dead.

A driver has died in Stearns County after being struck head-on by another driver who was attempting to pass another car.

Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, a 21-year-old driver was traveling northbound near Holdingford Township on 190th Avenue, which has a speed limit of 55 mph. 

As he tried to pass another vehicle — close to where the road begins to slope into a hill — he collided with another car head-on in the opposite lane of traffic, witnesses told authorities. Witnesses said one of the vehicles was on fire, and that an unresponsive driver appeared trapped inside the other car.

Stearns County deputies and the Holdingford Fire Department responded, where Russell Heitzman, 33, of Avron, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 21-year-old driver was transported to St. Cloud Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

The Minnesota State Patrol was also at the scene, and will provide crash reconstruction. The crash is still under investigation. 

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