Authorities report that alcohol was a contributing factor in a fatal crash that left part of Crosstown Hwy. 62 closed for much of the Monday morning rush hour.
The driver of a pickup truck towing a trailer left the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 62 near 34th Avenue about 3:25 a.m., entered a ditch and struck a concrete bridge pillar, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
The man, identified as 34-year-old Brian Cravey of Wills Point, Texas, had been drinking, the patrol's report said. Cravey was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition as of late Monday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.
A 21-year-old passenger from Como, Colo., identified by the patrol as Preston Haley, died in the wreck.
Both lanes of the busy highway near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were closed for hours as troopers investigated the crash.
Complicating matters was a secondary crash, caused when a Minneapolis fire truck collided with a state trooper's squad car, said Assistant Fire Chief Melanie Rucker.
Rucker said the ladder truck was turning around when it hit the trooper's vehicle. She said no firefighters were hurt, and the truck was towed from the scene.
The trooper sustained minor injuries, according to Lt. Gordon Shank with the State Patrol. Emergency lights were activated on both vehicles at the time of the crash, he said.
The collision led to long traffic backups for much of the morning commute as motorists were diverted from Hwy. 62. Westbound lanes reopened about 10 a.m., and eastbound lanes reopened about noon.