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Sheriff: Alcohol, no seatbelt factors in separate fatal crashes in St. Louis County

Both crashes happened north of Duluth.

Law enforcement in northeast Minnesota are reminding people to drive sober and always buckle their seatbelt after a pair of fatal crashes in less than 24 hours Sunday-Monday. 

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the second deadly crash happened around 6:56 a.m. Monday on the 2800 block of E. Pioneer Road in Normanna Township, which is located about 20 miles north of Duluth. 

The sheriff's office said the driver, identified as 56-year-old Kathryn Clark, of Duluth, was traveling eastbound on E. Pioneer Road when she left the roadway and launched off a driveway embankment before crashing into a tree. 

Clark was ejected from the SUV, with the sheriff's office saying "initial investigation of the crash shows that Clark died on impact." 

"This is the second fatal vehicle crash on St. Louis County roadways in last 24 hours. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in both of these crashes, as well as neither driver wearing a seatbelt at the time," the sheriff's release said. 

Around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, a 30-year-old college soccer coach died after hitting an embankment and going airborne before crashing into trees on the 5400 block of Jean Duluth Road, which is also north of Duluth. 

"Both of these tragic crashes are a reminder to drive sober and always, always buckle up before traveling anywhere. This is message that should be shared with loved ones often, as a reminder to do the same," the sheriff's office concluded. 

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