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State Patrol: Fatal Crash Backs Up Traffic On I-35W In Blaine

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 35W in Blaine.

A vehicle carrying nine members of a wildland firefighting crew left the roadway for an unknown reason, struck the median cable barriers and rolled.

Two people are dead and multiple people are also seriously injured, State Patrol said.

State Patrol identified the driver as 28-year-old Michael Johnson. Seven of the passengers were identified as 26-year-old Dave Varline, 26-year-old Tyler Tolonen, 34-year-old Robert Shawa, 29-year-old Shashaywin Sandman, 33-year-old Ross Jaukkuri, 34-year-old Gavin Loonsfoot and Joseph Jossens.

The firefighters were members of the Beartown Firefighting Crew, located in Michigan's upper peninsula.

A statement posted by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community says the firefighters were headed to a wildfire in Utah. The post also said all of the injured firefighters are expected to recover.


Fatal crash on I-35W in Blaine
(credit: MnDOT)


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