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Two die in head-on crash along icy highway in SE Minnesota

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Two people died Friday when their pickup truck collided with a semi head-on amid icy conditions along U.S. Highway 61 in southeast Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that the crash happened along a two-lane stretch of the highway, a few miles southeast of Lake City. 

Authorities said the southbound 2003 Ford pickup crossed the center line and hit the northbound Freightliner semi and trailer just after 11:30 a.m.

The driver of the pickup — 58-year-old Gary Johnson of Lake City — and a passenger — 59-year-old Cheryl Schleicher, also of Lake City — died from their injuries.

The driver of the semi, a 58-year-old Rochester man, suffered what the Patrol said were non-life-threatening injuries.

The Patrol said there was snow and ice on the highway at the time of the crash. The area saw 6 to 8 inches of snow from Thursday into early Friday.