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Minnesota records 300th traffic fatality earlier than last year

So far this year, 302 people have died on Minnesota roadways. In Iowa, 256 people have died.

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 10:39 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - So far this year, 302 people have died on Minnesota roadways. That's according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Unfortunately, that number is 17 more deaths than at this time last year.

Alex Grunewald drives a tow truck for Virgil's in Rochester, and often sees the tragic aftermath of fatal crashes.

"My job is to make sure that road's safe," Grunewald said.

He think more cars on the roads leads to more problems.

"It's a growing community, Minnesota's getting bigger," Grunewald said. "Everything's expanding, so we get more cars, more distractions."

That's why authorities tell drivers to put the phones down, put their seatbelts on, and watch their speed.

Toward Zero Deaths is a statewide program in Minnesota that has the goal of zero fatalities on roadways. Since they've started their program in 2003, coordinators tell KIMT they've seen a 45-percent decrease in fatalities to 2017.

Iowa State Patrol tells KIMT there's been 256 fatalities on Iowa roads so far this year.

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