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Pedestrian, driver dead in two separate southern Minnesota crashes

(Mankato, MN) – Two people were killed yesterday in separate crashes on southern Minnesota roads.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the first crash happened just before 7 a.m. in Winona when a Hino Straight truck that was eastbound on Highway 14 at Knopp Valley Drive struck a pedestrian that was crossing the highway.

Seventy-three-year-old Jane Elizabeth Schoewe of Winona wasn’t in the crosswalk when she was struck, according to the state patrol’s crash report.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the truck, Paul Lucas Scott, 60, of Winona wasn’t injured.

On the other side of the state in Rock County, a 67-year-old Ruthton man was killed when the Cadillac SRX he was driving was struck by a Ford F-250 that crossed over the center line of Highway 23 in Rose Dell Township.   Earl Dean Gruis was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The Ford, which was northbound on the highway when the vehicles collided at 12:36 p.m., was driven by 37-year-old Kevin John Wheeler of Tea, South Dakota.

Wheeler suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash.  He was transported to Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls.  His passenger, 32-year-old Jeremiah Joe Charlie Williams of Monroe, South Dakota was hospitalized at Pipestone County Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The state patrol says it’s not known whether any of the three men involved in the crash had been drinking.

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