ST. PAUL — At least eight people were killed on Minnesota roads this past weekend, (April 6–early Monday morning, April 8), making it the deadliest weekend of the year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The eight deaths include five on Sunday, the deadliest day of the year. The Sunday fatalities included a three-fatality crash in Minneapolis and a motorcyclist, the second rider death of the year (the first occurred April 4).
• 9:43 a.m., Saturday, April 6, on Hwy. 14 and Hwy. 42, east of Rochester, Olmsted County: Marvin Jech, 66, of Rochester, was killed when his vehicle collided with another vehicle.
• 12:54 p.m., Saturday, April 6, on county roads 9 and 10, east of Rochester, Olmsted County: 32-year-old male was killed in a two-vehicle crash. This crash is under investigation by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, and no other information is currently available.
• 3:15 p.m., Sunday, April 7, on Lexington Ave. and Victoria St. in Shoreview, Ramsey County: 55-year-old female pedestrian was hit by a vehicle. This crash is under investigation by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and no other information is currently available.
• 1:08 p.m., Sunday, April 7, on northbound I-94 at 49th Ave. in Minneapolis, Hennepin County: An 80-year-old female, 44-year-old female and 16-year-old male were killed in a three-vehicle crash. The names of the injured: Akinbowale Barbington (51); Oluremi Ayodele Ogundare (61); Fisayo Abigail Barbington (15); Faith Barbington (12); Tobi Barbington (5).
• 6:03 p.m., Sunday, April 7, on Brooklyn Blvd. at Welcome Ave. in Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County: Motorcyclist Tyron Somaiah, 23, of Crystal, Minn., was killed after he ran a red light and hit another vehicle that was in the intersection.
• 1 a.m., Mon. April 8, Brooklyn Center, Hennepin County: 23-year-old female killed when she ran off the road and hit a tree. This crash is under investigation by a Brooklyn Center Police Department and no other information is currently available.
“Tragic periods like this past weekend show how deadly our roads can turn,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “The people who lost their lives in these crashes are the reasons we all need to take the task of driving seriously and make safe decisions behind the wheel.”
Roeske says motorists must buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and never drive impaired. He reminds motorists to drive alert and be prepared to react as more pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists return to the roads.
To-date in 2013, 71 have been killed in crashes, compared to 75 at this time in 2012.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota State Patrol
More than 500 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota’s roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action, and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions, and assist other law enforcement agencies.
In 1929, the Minnesota Legislature created the Highway Patrol after lawmakers recognized the need for a traffic enforcement agency in response to the boom of automobiles. The first patrol force comprised 35 men. In 1970, the Highway Patrol became a division of the Department of Public Safety, and four years later its official name was changed to the Minnesota State Patrol.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.