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Speed and alcohol a factor in 2 fatal crashes in northern Minnesota

Two men have died in crashes in St. Louis County in the past 24 hours.

Speed and alcohol have been cited as factors in two separate fatal crashes in St. Louis County on Sunday.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office say that the crashes near Biwabik just after 2 a.m. and in Cook later on Sunday morning each claimed the life of a male driver.

In the Cook crash, the driver failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand turn on a dirt road and went into a ditch, striking a tree head on.

The driver was killed in the impact. He hasn't yet been identified by authorities.

It is thought he had been in the ditch for several hours before he was found just before 11 a.m., with the sheriff's office saying "alcohol and speed appear to be significant contributing factors."

It was the same case in the crash near Biwabik, which claimed the life of a 25-year-old driver.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene on Vermilion Trail, south of Ajax Road near Biwabik, at 2:17 a.m. to find a truck on its roof in a ditch on the east side of the road.

The man inside died at the scene despite the best efforts of first responders.

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Investigators believe he was traveling south on Vermilion Trail and lost control of the truck near the Ajax Road intersection.

His truck then skidded off the road where it rolled into the ditch, coming to a rest on its roof.

As well as speed and alcohol being a factor, the sheriff's office said the road was also wet at the time of the crash, while the driver wasn't wearing a seat belt.

There have been 273 road fatalities in Minnesota in 2018 so far this year, which is 4 more than there had been during the same period in 2017, according to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety.

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