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Fatal crash on Highway 61

Brian Schoonover of Oronoco, Minnesota, died after his car crossed the center line on Highway 61 and collided with another vehicle north of Lake City Monday morning. (Republican Eagle photo by John R. Russett)

LAKE CITY — A deadly head-on collision closed Highway 61 from County 2 Boulevard to County 5 Boulevard north of Lake City in both directions for close to three hours Monday morning.

Brian Schoonover, 49, Oronoco, Minnesota, was killed after his vehicle crossed the center line around 7:30 a.m. while traveling north on Highway 61, struck a southbound vehicle and caught fire, according to Minnesota State Patrol.

Both vehicles came to rest in the southbound lane north of Staehli Park Road, said Jon Danielson, Minnesota State Patrol officer who was at the scene investigating the crash.

Schoonover, who was driving a Pontiac Grand Am, struck a Subaru Forester driven by John V. Scott, 66, Frontenac, authorities said.

Scott was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Lake City with non-life threatening injuries, Danielson said.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Danielson said it appeared both drivers were wearing their seat belts and he didn’t believe road conditions played a part in the crash. It was unknown if either driver was impaired at the time of the crash, he added.

The State Patrol is investigating the crash and was assisted on-scene by Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, Lake City police, Lake City fire and Lake City ambulance, Danielson said, as well as the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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