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Published November 18, 2010, 02:47 PM

Seven Days, Eight Traffic Deaths in Minnesota

The Minnesota Highway Patrol reports eight traffic deaths in the last seven days. They are urging motorists to use caution as the busy holiday travel period begins.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota State Patrol reports eight traffic deaths in the last seven days, Nov. 11–17. The stretch of road deaths comes before the historically deadly Thanksgiving travel period.

“This last week demonstrates how deadly Minnesota roads can be, and these tragedies reinforce how vital it is to be focused behind the wheel and make safe, smart decisions,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “We want families intact on Monday after Thanksgiving.”

To-date in 2010 there has been 360 traffic deaths, compared to 356 at this time in 2009. The death count includes 35 motorcyclists, 31 pedestrians and nine bicyclists.

The eight crash victims are listed below; these cases remain under investigation by the State Patrol:

-Zachary Anderson, 27, of St. James. On Nov. 11, on Hwy. 169 in Scott County, Anderson’s vehicle was struck by a southbound vehicle that crossed into the northbound lanes.

-John Kennedy, 24, of Minneapolis. On Nov. 13, on Hwy. 60 in Blue Earth County, Kennedy’s vehicle was in a ditch when it was struck by a vehicle.

-Dana Ryther, 32, of Elk River. On Nov. 15, on the on-ramp to Hwy. 13 from Hwy. 169 in Scott County, Ryther lost control of his semitrailer on a bridge and rolled.

-Trevor Sommer, 8, and Dillan Sommer, 6, of Winthrop. On Nov. 15 on Hwy. 19 in Sibley County, the Sommer’s vehicle was rear-ended.

-Juan Rodriguez-Lopez, 41. On Nov. 17, on Hwy. 2 in Beltrami County, Rodriguez-Lopez lost control of his vehicle on an icy road, went through median and rolled over.

-David Medellin, 37, of Montevideo. Medellin was involved in a crash on Nov. 17 on Hwy. 40 in Chippewa County; no details of the crash have been released at this time.

-The name of a crash victim has not been released from a crash on Nov. 17 on Hwy. 59 — a vehicle crossed the centerline and hit another vehicle.

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