The Minnesota State Patrol said Wednesday that of the 12 people who died in traffic crashes in the state over the Fourth of July weekend, 11 died in crashes that were preventable.
Only one death, a motorcyclist from Pequot Lakes who hit a deer, could truly be described as an accident, the State Patrol said. Michael J. Teems, 40, collided with a deer at about 3:10 p.m. Monday on Highway 6, about three miles north of Outing in Cass County.
Lt. Col. Steve Mengelkoch, deputy chief of the State Patrol, noted that only three people died over the Memorial Day weekend.
''I'm afraid what happened this weekend that was different from Memorial Day comes down to one name: Malik Sealy,'' he said.
The Minnesota Timberwolves player was killed on May 20 in a wrong-way, head-on crash allegedly caused by a drunk driver.
''This past weekend, there were three head-on collisions. The only difference between those crashes and the one that took Sealy's life is the people who died this past weekend were not celebrities,'' Mengelkoch said. ''We at the State Patrol hope that it does not take a high-profile fatality before a major holiday to make traffic safety the priority it needs to be.''
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