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Minnesota woman dies in crash with semi in western Wisconsin

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A Twin Cities woman is dead after a car accident in western Wisconsin this weekend.

According to the Leader-Telegram, it happened Saturday afternoon on Interstate 94 near the town of Hixton in Jackson County, which is about 130 miles east of the metro.

The paper identified the victim as 41-year-old Zertasha C. Jones, whose Buick was traveling westbound when it crashed into a semi truck. The driver of the rig was not hurt.

While details are still scarce, the Star Tribune reports that both vehicles were on the westbound I-94 when the collision occurred; the nature of how the crash actually happened is unclear.

According to the paper, Jones had lived in Minneapolis and Anoka "in recent years."

KSTP says the crash is still under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Just last week, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that 2015 saw a spike in traffic deaths, with 556 people dying on the state's roads. 494 died in 2014. Additionally, preliminary numbers showed that was six more fatalities than the five-year average, the department said.

The Wisconsin State Journal points out that the increase in road deaths came the same year Wisconsin upped the speed limit on "major state highways" to 70 miles per hour.

However, department officials say they "don't have enough data yet" to tell whether the increase in fatalities is tied to the higher speed limit.

The Wisconsin State Journal also notes that, from a historical perspective, 2015 wasn't that deadly a year, with previous years' death tolls hundreds of fatalities higher in some cases.

Meanwhile, Minnesota also saw a relatively deadly year on its roads in 2015. The state reported that 396 people died in road accidents last year, marking a five-year high. Overall, though, officials say the number of highway fatalities in Minnesota is decreasing.

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