Two killed on Minnesota roads as Memorial Day weekend gets off to a deadly start


It was a deadly start to Memorial Day weekend in Minnesota, with two drivers killed as hundreds of thousands of people took to the roads.

The Minnesota State Patrol was on the scene of two fatal crashes in the state Friday, including one near Rochester where a Harley Davidson rider collided with a deer.

The accident occurred on southbound Highway 52 near Rochester at around 7 p.m., when a deer crossed the road and the rider was unable to avoid hitting it.

KAAL reports that the crash happened near the intersection with Highway 63, and notes that the identity of the rider has not yet been released.

This followed an earlier crash near Leech Lake in Northern Minnesota, which led to the death of a 19-year-old woman following a reported police chase.

The State Patrol notes that Hailey Bergstrom, of Sebeka, Minnesota, was killed when the Ford Taurus she was driving at a "high rate of speed" entered a ditch on Highway 200 in Hubbard County, before rolling multiple times as she tried to correct it.

The Duluth News Tribune says that the driver was being chased by police through "busy holiday weekend traffic," with the chasing reaching speeds of up to 90 mph after it started outside of Laporte at around 11.35 a.m.

The newspaper notes that information on what led to the pursuit has not been made available.

According to the Star Tribune, the stable economy coupled with low gas prices could mean this is the busiest Memorial Day weekend – and subsequent summer – on Minnesota's roads for many years, with the AA predicting 37 million trips will be taken nationally this weekend.

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