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Fatal crash in Maple Grove latest in deadly weekend on MN roads

This has been an especially deadly summer for road deaths in Minnesota.

Continuing a trend of escalating road fatalities in Minnesota, the September 11 weekend saw a number of deadly crashes around the state.

On Sunday morning, a three-vehicle crash in Maple Grove killed one driver and left two other people injured.

Per a tweet from the Maple Grove Police Department, it happened on County Road 81 near Dayton. No other details were given. 

Two deadly crashes also happened on Saturday, the first occurring at about 7:30 a.m. in Becker County, north-central Minnesota. 

It happened in Maple Grove Township (not to be confused with the larger city in the metro), a community of about 800 residents. Per a news release from the local sheriff, it was a single-vehicle rollover crash on County Road 143, where first responders found the driver — the car's sole occupant — unresponsive inside the vehicle.

The victim, whose name was being withheld pending notification of family, died at the scene despite lifesaving efforts. Few other details have been released as the crash is still under investigation. 

Later that day in Anoka County, a motorcyclist was killed after crashing into another vehicle truck in the city of Nowthen.

According to a release from the local sheriff, preliminary details indicate the motorcycle was traveling westbound on Viking Blvd NW when it hit the side of a pickup truck turning onto an adjoining street. 

The motorcyclist, an adult male who died at the scene, has not been identified yet. The two occupants of the pickup truck were not injured. 

Saturday and Sunday's fatalities are in addition to one that happened Friday night in Wright County, where a 64-year-old man was killed when he collided with a semi that was blocking both lanes of Highway 55 while backing into a driveway.

He's been identified as Jeffery S. Christiansen, a 64-year-old Hopkins resident. The driver of the semi was not injured.

These accidents come as state data shows this summer was a particularly deadly one on Minnesota's roads. 

The stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day — the busiest time of the year on the state's roads — saw 167 traffic-related fatalities, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced Friday. 

The 167 people who died from June-August is the deadliest three-month stretch in a decade and the deadliest summer since at least 2010, DPS noted. 

As of August, 308 people have been killed in Minnesota traffic crashes in 2021 — compared to 249 deaths the year before. 

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