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Emergency personnel respond April 15, 2009, to a fatal crash at the intersection of North Business 71 and 23rd Street Northeast near the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building in north Willmar. While the number of fatal crashes decreased across both the region and the state last year, Renville County experienced an large amount of fatals, with 11 people losing their lives. Tribune file photo by Ron Adams

Traffic deaths down dramatically in Minnesota in 2009

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WILLMAR -- In Minnesota, 403 people lost their lives as a result of traffic crashes in 2009, the lowest number of highway fatalities since 356 people died on the road in 1944. The preliminary number was released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and may rise as more reports are received, according to a news release from the department. The final numbers will be available in the summer.

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