Two Duluth residents died in separate crashes in northern Minnesota last week.
Both victims — a 55-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman — were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crashes, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
According to the crash reports, one other person was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The crashes are highlighted below:
Friday afternoon crash on I-35
On Friday, at about 1:32 p.m., Minnesota State Patrol troopers went to a crash scene on the southbound lanes of Interstate 35 at Mile Post 205 in Willow River.
Authorities learned that a Pontiac G6, driven by a 31-year-old Fridley man, was southbound on the interstate when he lost control and struck a tree in a ditch. The driver, who was wearing a seatbelt, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Raven M. Boshey, 41, was a passenger in the car. She was pronounced dead after being taken to Essentia Hospital in Moose Lake. The other passenger, a 44-year-old Maplewood man, was taken to St. Mary's Duluth Essentia Health to treat life-threatening injuries.
Both passengers were not wearing their seatbelts, the patrol said.
Friday night crash on I-35 in Duluth
At about 7:49 p.m., the State Patrol went to a single-vehicle crash scene on Interstate 35 near Garfield Avenue in Duluth.
Officers learned that a Ford Expedition, driven by 55-year-old Todd Elton Tikka, was northbound on the Interstate 535 Blatnik Bridge that connects Duluth and Superior. The patrol says Tikka lost control of the SUV and struck the median wall, overcorrected and struck a piece of construction equipment on the right shoulder.
Tikka was pronounced dead at the scene.
The State Patrol said he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Wearing a seatbelt reduces crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. In addition, seatbelts saved almost 15,000 American lives in 2017, according to the CDC.