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4 people dead in trio of holiday weekend crashes

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A trio of separate crashes around the state killed four people since the start of the July Fourth weekend – a holiday known as one of the deadliest for Minnesota motorists.

Two of those accidents are described as fatal rollovers; the other involved a State Patrol squad car and left two people dead.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, the Fourth of July holiday has traditionally been one of the deadliest on Minnesota roads and highways. Fifty-nine deaths were reported in the past 10 years over the holiday, with 34 of those fatalities attributed to alcohol-related crashes.

Fatal accidents

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A 29-year-old Texas woman died after authorities say the car she was traveling in rolled over and crashed into a northwest Minnesota lake around 1:30 a.m. Friday, WCCO reports. According to the station, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office says the 42-year-old driver failed to navigate a curve, and the vehicle then hit a ditch, rolled over, and stopped in Franklin Lake.

Authorities say alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, and the driver has been arrested and could face charges, Valley News Live reports.

According to InForum, he was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries; the woman was declared dead at the site of the crash.

A separate rollover in southern Minnesota killed one person.

The State Patrol says, 24-year-old Colton Squires of Owatonna died when his Chevy Trailblazer left the road and rolled over on highway 218 just north of Austin, Minnesota around 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The crash involved just one vehicle, the State Patrol says.

And two people were killed in an accident involving a State Trooper squad car Friday afternoon in Goodhue County.

A Minnesota State Patrol trooper was responding to an injury crash when a vehicle pulled out of a parking lot and in front of his squad car as he drove through Cannon Falls, the State Patrol said.

The two people in the car were killed and the trooper, identified as Scott Reps, was airlifted to Mayo Hospital with "serious but not life-threatening injuries."

The Pioneer Press reports the two victims – the driver and passenger of the vehicle that pulled in front of the squad car – have been identified as Norman L. Scott, 78, and his wife, Geneva M. Scott, 79, both from Cannon Falls. The State Patrol said Reps' squad car hit the Scotts' 2012 Ford Taurus.

The trooper was responding to a collision between a motorcycle and a deer when he T-boned the Scotts' vehicle. The Ford Crown Victoria squad car had its lights and sirens activated when it hit the Scotts' vehicle.

A second vehicle, a 2009 Jeep Commander, apparently rear-ended the Taurus as it followed it out of the parking lot, but no one in it was injured.

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