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Snow and ice cited in NE Minnesota crash that killed 2

November 12, 2021 GMT

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Wintry weather carrying strong winds gusts, snow and icy conditions may have contributed to a highway crash in northeastern Minnesota that killed a woman and an 11-year-old boy.

The Minnesota State Patrol cited snow and icy roads in a fatal crash Thursday afternoon on Highway 135 in St. Louis County. A Toyota Corolla carrying four people was westbound when it lost control and crossed the center line, struck a Toyota Yaris and was then struck by a Chevy Malibu. Another vehicle then rear-ended the Chevy, the patrol said.

Two people in the Corolla, 11-year-old Dakota Smith and 32-year-old Betty Smith, died in the crash. Two other children in the car were injured.

The driver of the Malibu was also hurt. Authorities say the drivers of the other two vehicles were not seriously injured.

Forecasters said gusts of 50 mph or higher have been common across western Wisconsin where a blizzard warning was issued for Traverse and Big Stone counties and adjacent counties in South Dakota.

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A storm system dropped nearly 7 inches (17 centimeters) of snow near Orr in northeastern Minnesota and 4.5 inches (11 centimeters) near International Falls, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds were not expected to die down until the overnight hours Friday into Saturday, the NWS said.