Two people died in a motorcycle accident in Pine County on I-35 near Willow River on Independence Day.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), there were no road deaths in 2012 on July 4, but 19 road deaths over the last year, which makes it the state’s deadliest day of the year on roads in Minnesota.
Authorities were called on July 4 around noon to the northbound lane of I-35 near mile marker 203, a few miles south of Willow River. A 57-year-old Ramsey man, Terrance Armstrong, was driving a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he lost control and crashed. His passenger, 47-year-old Kari Armstrong, also of Ramsey, was seriously injured.
Life Flight was called for the injured. The woman was air lifted to St. Mary’s in Duluth where she died. The man was also airlifted to St. Luke's in Duluth where he died. Neither victim was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Traffic was backed up to south of Sandstone. Near the injury site, people on the highway were seen walking outside their vehicles due to the delay.
The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the accident. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.