Skip to main content

State Patrol: Driver who ran red light identified as victim in fatal crash on Hwy. 61 in St. Paul

The crash happened early Friday morning.
Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 8.08.07 AM


A fatal crash that temporarily closed northbound Hwy. 61 in St. Paul Friday morning was caused by a driver who ran a red light, according to the crash report from the Minnesota State Patrol. 

The report says the man who died in the crash, Oliver J. Watkins, 45, of St. Paul, was speeding in a 2004 GMC Envoy northbound on Hwy. 61 when he ran the red light at Lower Afton Road and collided with a Ford Escape. 

Watkins was not wearing a seat belt. 

A 61-year-old St. Paul woman driving the Ford Escape was uninjured. 

Original story

Very few details are available but the Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that happened early Friday morning near South St. Paul. 

The crash happened on northbound Hwy. 61 at Lower Afton Road. It's unclear at this point how many vehicles were involved. 

Highway 61 was expected to remain closed for an extended period of time. 

We'll provide more information as it becomes available. 

Next Up


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.



State Patrol: 2 fatal crashes in Minnesota on Sunday

The crashes happened in Aitkin and Dodge counties.


State Patrol says driver 'intentionally' crossed the center line in fatal crash

The crash happened Wednesday morning in Dodge County, Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 8.48.59 AM

Victims of fatal Isanti County crash ID'd as mother and daughter

The crash shut down Hwy. 65 for around four hours Monday.

Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 7.00.45 AM

Fatal crash shuts down part of Highway 36 in Maplewood

The crash happened before sunrise Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 7.49.11 AM

Fatal crash victim identified as newlywed from Buffalo

Whitney Nelson died after a two-vehicle crash near Glencoe Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 10.37.39 AM

Crash that shut down Hwy. 169 in Elk River was fatal

The crash closed the northbound lanes of Hwy. 169 for a few hours Friday morning.