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Southern Minnesota woman, 63, killed in weekend ATV accident

Authorities say she was pinned by her vehicle.
ATV, all-terrain vehicle

An unusually deadly year for off-high vehicle (OHV) deaths saw its latest fatality this weekend in Blue Earth County, where a woman was killed after rolling her ATV. 

The local sheriff's office says deputies were called to the scene of the crash, which happened in a rural part of Lake Crystal, on Saturday evening, and despite lifesaving efforts, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to a news release, she appeared to have rolled her vehicle on "uneven loose ground," sustaining fatal injuries when the ATV pinned her. 

She's been identified as 63-year-old Cynthia Dawley of Courtland, Minnesota, located in Nicollet County. 

This comes less than two weeks after DNR and state health officials announced that the number of people who have died in such accidents this year is the highest it's been in more than a decade.

As a result, they issued a warning to ATV riders to take proper safety precautions before hitting the trails, as "one seemingly minor mishap can be the difference between a positive memory and a life-changing catastrophe.”

The increase in incidents can be attributed to the increased number of people riding OHVs. The DNR says the number of registered OHVs is on the rise – this year, there are nearly 24,000 new registrations for ATVs. 

Saturday's fatality marks at least 21 ATV-related deaths in Minnesota this year. 

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