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Two fatal crashes on icy Saturday

Snowy and icy road conditions led to two fatal crashes along the Interstate 35 corridor near Carlton County on Saturday, Feb. 3, along with numerous other crashes and injuries.

A 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man died in separate rollover crashes on Interstate 35 Saturday.

Two Harbors girl died and her sister was injured in a crash Saturday on I-35 near Cloquet.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported Heather Rose Doucette was a passenger in a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer traveling north on I-35 and roads were icy following a couple inches of snowfall earlier in the day. Amanda Beth Valerius, Heather's mother, was driving near Highway 210 and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to veer into the median and roll several times.

Heather, 15 and her sister, Hannah Ruby Valerius, 12, were thrown from the vehicle.

Heather died as a result of her injuries. Hannah sustained several life-threatening injuries, but as of Monday morning was expected to make a full recovery.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the Valerius family with funeral and medical expenses. According to the page, the Valerius family recently moved to Two Harbors after the girls' father had taken a new job.

Earlier Saturday, 19-year-old Joseph Michael Sarne of White Bear Lake, Minn., was seriously injured and later died in a rollover crash on I-35 near Midway Road. The State Patrol reported Sarne was driving north on the freeway just before 9:30 a.m. Saturday when the 2006 Chevrolet Silverado he was driving went into the median and rolled, coming to rest on its roof. Sarne, who authorities said was not wearing a seat belt, was transported to St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth. State Patrol was later informed that Sarne’s injuries were fatal.

Also Saturday, police responded to a rollover near Esko at 10:23 a.m. A 2008 Ford Fusion was traveling in the left lane northbound on I-35 when the driver lost control and slid across the right lane into the south ditch and rolled over one time, coming to rest on its wheels. The driver and two passengers were taken to Cloquet Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

At 11:13 a.m., police responded to a rollover in Moose Lake Township. A 2005 Ford pickup was traveling southbound on I-35 when the vehicle hit an icy patch on the road, lost control and went into the ditch rolling over one time and coming to a rest on its own wheels. The driver was taken to Mercy Hospital Moose Lake with non-life threatening injuries.

Statewide, the Patrol reported that it responded to 272 crashes — 31 involving injuries — and 150 spinouts along state and federal highways between midnight and 3 p.m. Saturday.

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