Wrong-way driver killed in crash on I-35E; road openby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A man who drove several miles north on southbound Interstate 35E was killed early Thursday morning in a head-on crash, closing the interstate for several hours, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
The southbound lanes just south of County Road 96 near White Bear Lake were closed Thursday morning after the crash, which happened at 4:30 a.m. The road reopened around 8 a.m.
Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol said witnesses reported the wrong-way driver on I-35E near Maryland Avenue in St. Paul. Before the head-on crash, which left the other driver seriously injured, the wrong-way driver caused one vehicle to swerve and roll over and sideswiped another vehicle. Witnesses reported the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, Roeske said.
The drivers in the first two vehicles were not injured.
The State Patrol is investigating the crash, and Roeske said authorities will try to determine whether alcohol was a factor.
"Obviously if you somebody driving at high rates of speed the wrong way for several miles, something's not right there, and we're still trying to piece together exactly what was going on," Roeske said. "It's something we may never know the answer to, unfortunately, with this driver being killed."
(MPR reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.)