Icy roads a factor in Hwy. 12 fatal crash in Independence

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West Hennepin Public Safety officials confirmed icy roads were a factor in a fatal crash along Highway 12 near County Road 92 in Independence, Minn. on Monday morning.

This marks the second fatal crash along Highway 12 in one month. The Jan. 14 crash involved a drunk driver just west of Delano. This time, icy roads were a factor.

At 7:47 a.m. West Hennepin Public Safety officials were called to a two-vehicle crash at 7889 Highway 12. The driver of a Ford Fusion was pronounced dead after being t-boned, and the driver of a Cadillac Deville was taken to North Memorial Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicates the Ford Fusion was traveling west on Highway 12 when the driver lost control and began to slide sideways across the centerline and into the eastbound lane, and was t-boned in the passenger door by the eastbound Cadillac. The road was closed for a short time as officials cleared the crash.

The victim of the crash was identified Tuesday as Paige Duncan, 27, of Bloomington, Minn.

One of the deadliest stretches of road in Minnesota, a dangerous 6-mile portion of Highway 12 between Orono and Delano was equipped with rumble strips in December 2014 to reduce crossover crashes the same week two people were killed.

This August, two crashes claimed three lives in just three days, and many in the west metro continue to demand change along the stretch. Chelsea Langhans, 25, was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 12 in Orono on Saturday, Aug. 22. An SUV driven by 69-year-old Arthur Henningsen of Wayzata crossed the center median of the two-lane highway and the two vehicles collided. Henningsen was also killed in the crash.