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Bemidji woman dies in head-on collision near Leech Lake

Alcohol was determined to be a factor in a Wednesday morning head-on crash near Leech Lake that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Bemidji woman.

FSA Fatal crash accident
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WILKINSON TOWNSHIP, Minn. — A 23-year-old Bemidji, Minn., woman died after a head-on vehicle crash on Wednesday morning, May 5, near Leech Lake.

Investigators said the incident occurred around 1:43 a.m. Darlene Mae Johnson, 23, was traveling southbound in a Pontiac Grand Prix on State Highway 371 when her vehicle collided with a northbound Ford F150 driven by Steven James Lasser, 24, of Roseville, Minn., according to the report from the Minnesota State Patrol.

Lasser’s truck rolled coming to rest on its roof. Johnson’s vehicle came to rest in the west ditch, the report said. Johnson was wearing a seat belt, and her airbag deployed correctly, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the report.

Lasser was taken to Sanford Hospital in West Fargo to be treated for life-threatening injuries. According to the report, he was under the influence of alcohol during the incident. No further information has been released regarding his condition.

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In addition to the Minnesota State Patrol, members of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, North Ambulance Air Care, Leech Lake Tribal Police and the Bemidji Police Department also responded to the scene.

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