One person died from injuries suffered in an accident Monday on Highway 210, bringing the 2001 area fatality total to six, including three fatalities on Highway 210.
The victim, Karen Dehn, 64, Deerwood, died after the Chevrolet van she was a passenger in went out of control on the icy road, slid sideways into the opposite lane and collided with a Toyota pickup, the State Patrol reported.
The accident, reported to the State Patrol at 10:47 p.m., happened near the entrance to the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport.
With the six traffic fatalities in January, the Brainerd area is on pace for 72 fatal accidents this year. While that number may be unrealistic, the start of 2001 is still a concern for State Patrol Capt. Joe Schueller.
"The thing is -- and we keep harping on this -- drivers have to adjust to the conditions and they have to pay attention at all times because conditions keep changing," said Schueller. "They have to adjust accordingly."
Schueller said the best advice for motorists driving in ice and snow conditions is think about where they're going but to do so in slow motion.
"Stop a little slower, drive a little slower, go around curves a little slower," he said.
Monday's accident was weather-related, Schueller said, where one vehicle lost control on the ice and slid into the other lane. He said most drivers adjust well to icy conditions.
"When we know the roads will be icy, we know there is a certain percentage of drivers that aren't going to heed warnings," Schueller said. " We just hope they slide in the ditch."
The driver of the van in Monday's accident, David Dehn, 63, Deerwood suffered minor injuries but was not treated. Another passenger in his vehicle, Jean Sharp, 64, Deerwood, was treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd and released.
The driver of the truck, Paula Lund, 47, Brainerd, suffered minor injuries but was not treated.
The recent trend is a carry-over from the final months of 2000, when from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 there were about 19 fatal accidents in the Brainerd area.
In 2000, Minnesota was on pace to record more than 700 fatal accidents for the first time since 1981. There were 626 fatal accidents in the state in 1999.
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