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State Patrol: Fatal crashes in west-central, southern Minnesota

There have been at least 323 deaths on Minnesota roads this year.

A pair of fatal crashes that happened late Friday night and early Saturday morning are under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol. 

According to crash reports, a driver was killed in a single-vehicle crash in west-central Minnesota late Friday, and then just prior to 1 a.m. Saturday a head-on crash in southern Minnesota resulted in one death and two injuries. 

The late Friday crash happened around 10:55 p.m. on Hwy. 12 at 170th Ave. SE in Pillsbury Township (Swift County). The State Patrol reports that 31-year-old George Menchaca, of Kerkhoven, was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee west on Hwy. 12 when he went into the ditch and rolled multiple times. 

Menchaca was transported to St. Cloud Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

At approximately 12:42 a.m. Saturday another deadly crash occurred when motorists collided head-on Hwy. 169 in Verona Township (Faribault County). 

The Patrol reports that the drivers of a Dodge Caravan and a Dodge Dart collided head-on near Mile Marker 16, between Winnebago and Blue Earth. The driver of the Caravan, 76-year-old Harold Elvin Renkley, of Blue Earth, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of the Dodge Dart was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center in the Twin Cities with life-threatening injuries. He has been identified as 20-year-old Jeffrey Gordon Gunzenhauser, of Winnebago. 

An 84-year-old man from Ames, Iowa was a passenger in the van and suffered injuries that are not life-threatening and was transported to the Mayo Clinic. 

There was also a deadly crash with two fatalities when a car and dump truck collided in east-central Minnesota on Friday afternoon. 

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, there have been 323 deaths on Minnesota roads so far in 2020, which is more than there were at the same point in 2019 (301). 

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