Deadly crashes amplify warnings from law enforcement about traffic safety

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Two deadly crashes within a week, leading up to one of the deadliest time periods on the roads, is amplifying warnings from law enforcement about driving dangerously.

Tuesday, as a group of friends were heading home from a quick visit to Duluth, their car crashed while trying to avoid hitting something in the road. Investigators in northwest Wisconsin say 24-year-old Mahesh Boya, of Eden Prairie, was not wearing his seatbelt and died on scene — they say the other three were buckled and will survive.

RELATED: Eden Prairie man killed in northern Wisconsin rollover crash

“[Boya] worked a lot to come [to the] United States, because it’s not that easy from India to get a U.S. visa and admission [to a] U.S. university,” Dheeraj Kolla, an acquaintance of Boya, said.

Boya was a student at Concordia University St. Paul and was part of the Indian Student Association — Kolla was once president of that student group and is now generating support for Boya’s family through an online fundraiser.

Just two days later, near Jordan, a 16-year-old boy was killed in a crash — he also wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

RELATED: Teen killed, 3 other teens injured in Scott County rollover crash

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office says the teen was in a Jeep with three other teenagers — they were belted and are going to survive.

“It is tough to hear,” Sheriff Luke Hennen, of Scott County, said about the deadly crash. “We try to do a lot of education, and we do enforcement, all hoping to gain the same result that people are safer on roadways.”

The two deadly crashes happened during the same week that the ‘100 deadly days of summer’ begin — it’s the timeframe from Memorial Day to Labor Day when law enforcement says there’s usually an increase in the number of deadly crashes.

Wednesday, the Minnesota State Patrol said in 2022, 38% of deadly crashes happened in that timeframe. It also said that it’s had an increase in both seatbelt and distracted driving citations and that it will have extra enforcement this week and for the rest of the summer.  

“My hope is through these tragedies throughout our state in this last week that it encourages people to have more conversations, whether with their children, with their other family members, about the importance of safety on our roadways, and using our seatbelts, and maybe we can prevent something else from happening to someone else,” Sheriff Hennen added.

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