2 central Minn. crashes leave 2 dead, others with life-threatening injuries

Two people are dead and several others are injured after two crashes in central Minnesota on Saturday morning, Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports say.

The first crash occurred in Pequot Lakes when a car crossing a highway was struck by a van traveling north on the highway, the crash report says.

The 88-year-old car driver, Anita Haller of St. Cloud, died at the scene. Car passenger Tyler Haller, a 21-year old woman from Phoenix, Arizona, was flown to Duluth for life-threatening injuries.

One van passenger, 40-year-old David LeDoux of Belcourt, North Dakota, was also flown to Duluth for life-threatening injuries. The van’s driver, Joseph Benson of Nevis, was taken to St. Joseph’s in Brainerd for non-life-threatening injuries. The van’s other passenger was not hurt.

The crash report indicates the van was approaching the intersection at County Road 107 while traveling on Highway 371. The car was said to have begun crossing Highway 371 to go east on County Road 107 when the crash occurred.

Agencies farther south responded to the second crash less than an hour later Sunday morning in the St. Johns Township of Kandiyohi County.

The second crash report says an SUV was traveling east on Minnesota Highway 40 when it collided with a semitractor-trailer traveling north on County Road 7.

SUV passenger Sharon Berglund, a 56-year-old from Labolt, South Dakota, died at the scene. SUV driver Daniel Berglund, a 62-year-old from Labolt, was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash report says the SUV’s airbag deployed, but neither person was wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the semitrailer, a 40-year old man from York, Alabama, was not hurt.

Authorities have not given any updates on the condition of individuals in the hospital. No other information about Saturday morning’s events has been provided.