2 killed in separate crashes on snowy MN roads

File photo the imprint of the tread of a winter tire. (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Two people who were not wearing seat belts died in separate crashes on snowy roadways Wednesday, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The first crash happened around 6:15 a.m. in Kanabec County on Highway 65 and Mahogany Street. A driver of a Chevy Avalanche was heading southbound when he crossed the center line and crashed into an Impala driving in the opposite direction.

The Chevy Avalanche driver continued driving in the wrong direction and crashed head-on with another vehicle. The driver of the first vehicle that was hit did not suffer any injuries. The driver of the second vehicle was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Minnesota State Patrol identified the Chevy Avalanche driver as a 55-year-old man from Grasston, Minnesota. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was killed in the crash, according to the report.

The State Patrol did not say what caused the crash, but road conditions were snowy and icy at the time.

The second crash happened around noon in Hubbard County on Highway 64. The State Patrol report indicates a 22-year-old driver was heading northbound on the highway when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a semi-truck head-on in the opposite lane.

The driver suffered non life-threatening injuries. The passenger, a 20-year-old woman from International Falls, did not survive the crash. She was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision, according to the crash report.

The State Patrol listed the road conditions as snowy and icy and noted that the driver lost control of the vehicle due to the slush on the road.

At least 72 people have been killed on Minnesota roadways so far this year, according to the state Department of Public Safety.