A two-vehicle crash that closed a stretch of Highway 13 in Scott County on Monday claimed the life of a New Prague woman.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash happened around 7:20 a.m. on Hwy. 13 near 240th St. in Cedar Lake Township – a few miles northeast of New Prague. It was a head-on collision involving a Dodge Grand Caravan and a Kia Soul.
Judith L. Pierce, 57, of New Prague was driving the Grand Caravan northbound while the driver of Kia was southbound. The collision forced the van off the roadway where it rolled into the west ditch.
Pierce was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Kia, a 22-year-old New Prague man, was transported to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale with injuries that are not life-threatening.
Despite a significant reduction in vehicle traffic because of the coronavirus shutdown, there were 35 fatal crashes on Minnesota roads between March 16 and April 21. That's more than any other year during that same time period dating back to 2015, according to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety.
"Speeding and careless driving were among the most frequently cited contributing factors in traffic fatalities," the department said. "Let’s make sure hospital beds are available for those dealing with COVID-19. Preventing critical injuries from a crash can help make that happen."
For the year, 86 people have died on Minnesota roads compared to 83 at the same point last year.
The cause of Monday's fatal crash near New Prague has not been released.