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Bemidji woman dead, Twin Cities man seriously injured in head-on crash

The wreck occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.
A Google Street View image of Highway 371, looking southbound toward Oak Point Road.

Highway 371, looking southbound toward Oak Point Road.

A head-on crash outside Leech Lake shortly after midnight Wednesday left a northern Minnesota woman dead, and a Twin Cities man with life-threatening injuries.

Darlene Mae Johnson, 23 years old, was traveling southbound in a Pontiac Grand Prix on Highway 371 in Wilkinson Township at around 12:43 a.m. Wednesday. As Johnson, from Bemidji, approached Oak Point Road, she crashed head-on with a Ford F150 traveling northbound.

The Grand Prix went into the ditch. Johnson died of her injuries.

The Ford rolled and ended up on its roof, with the driver, 24-year-old Steven James Lasser of Roseville, suffering life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Sanford Hospital West in Fargo. 

There have been 107 fatal crashes in Minnesota this year. There were 89 at this same point in 2020.

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