A fatal vehicle crash on Interstate 35W near 95th Avenue in Blaine Saturday shutdown traffic for several hours. The crash happened around 3 p.m. Both northbound and southbound lanes were closed after the crash. Northbound lanes reopened around 5:30 p.m.
Officials have confirmed at least two people are dead. Several others were injured in the crash, according to investigators. There were nine occupants in a vehicle involved in the crash, according to authorities.
Investigators say the truck was southbound on the highway and left the roadway for an unknown reason, struck the median cable barriers, and rolled.
The Minnesota State Patrol identifies the driver as 28-year-old Michael Johnson of Baraga, Mich. Authorities identified three of the passengers as 26-year-old Dave Varline of Baraga, Mich., 26-year-old Tyler Tolonen of Menomonee Falls, Wisc., and 29-year-old Shashaywin Saglifoe.
Johnson and Sagilfoe were taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Varline was taken to Unity Hospital in Fridley and Tolonen was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Lettering on a truck involved in the crash says Beartown Fire Department. There is a Beartown Fire Department located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
But this wasn’t the only accident in the area. Nate Kruckeberg says as traffic slowed for the initial crash, less than a mile away he witnessed another one on the same road.
“I’m slamming my brakes and the next thing I see is a van goes off the road, flips two or three times,” said Nate Kruckeberg, from Anoka.
Kruckeberg quickly pulled over, to help the driver.
“I knew that I could be coming up on a fatality. Her face was covered in blood, my heart was pounding but overall I was composed,” Kruckeberg said.
The woman’s car was towed away with lots of damage, but Kruckeberg says she was conscious.
“I am incredibly concerned about her, I hope she’s okay,” Kruckeberg said.
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