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Father and 9-year-old son killed in head-on crash in SE Minnesota

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A father and his young son were killed on Friday in a head-on collision in Steele County.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash happened at 6:46 a.m. Friday on Highway 218 near Blooming Prairie – between Austin and Owatonna.

A 1998 Honda Civic driven by 43-year-old Karl Erickson of Austin, Minnesota, was traveling southbound when it crossed into the opposite lane and crashed into a 2009 Chrysler Town and Country.

Erickson and his 9-year-old son Elijah were both killed.

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State patrol records say that the father was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, though his son was.

According to the BP Leader, the driver of the Chrysler – a 79 year old man from Blooming Prairie – suffered serious injuries and was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester.

The state patrol is investigating what caused the crash, but has confirmed that alcohol was not a factor and that there were dry conditions on the road at the time.

The Star Tribune reports the two deaths mark the 29th and 30th fatalities on Minnesota roads since the start of the year – there had been 15 by the same time last year.

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