Two people died Friday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash along a stretch of Interstate 35 near Faribault that has been the scene of other accidents this month, one of them fatal and another a six-car pileup that sent two women to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Matthew H. Hansen, 57, and Cimberly E. Hansen, 56, of Urbandale, Iowa, were killed after their sedan was involved in a collision with a pickup truck and a semitrailer truck around 1:30 p.m. on northbound I-35 near milepost 53, just south of Faribault, the Minnesota State Patrol said. The driver of the pickup truck, a 34-year-old man from Albert Lea, and the semi driver, a 54-year-old man from Lancing, Tenn., were not injured, the patrol said.
All involved were wearing seat belts, the patrol said, and alcohol was not a factor.
Freeway construction near that spot reduces traffic to one lane, and the crashes appear to be happening as traffic slows down before the merge.
It's near the same spot where Mona Lee Bengtson, 63, was killed Aug. 11, also while driving in the northbound lanes of the interstate, when her Toyota Highlander collided with a Dodge Ram traveling in the same direction, according to the State Patrol. The other driver was not injured.
In a crash on Aug. 20, two women were seriously hurt when their Chevrolet Suburban collided with a semitrailer truck as both vehicles traveled in the northbound lanes. The crash caused a chain reaction of collisions involving four other cars. Three people had noncritical injuries, the patrol said.
One woman has since been discharged from the hospital, while the other remains in the intensive care unit of Mayo Clinic Hospital, according to hospital officials.
A portion of the interstate between Owatonna and Faribault was reduced to one lane for much of Friday for the crash investigation.