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UPDATE: Snowy crash near Hager City claims life of Lake City, Minn. man

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A late season snowstorm turned roadways slick again Tuesday night and may have been responsible for a highway death near Hager City in Pierce County.

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Around 9:35 p.m., the Sheriff's Department was notified of a two-vehicle accident on US Highway 63 near 220th Ave. in the town of Trenton. A 2000 Chevrolet Mailbu driven by Joseph Leo Lemieux, 51, Lake City, Minn., was northbound when he lost control of his car and was struck by a 2005 Chevrolet Pacifica driven by Jeremy W. Freeland, 35, Spring Valley, who was southbound.

Lemieux was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pierce County Medical Examiner. Freeland was transported by Ellsworth Ambulance to Regions Hospital. A spokesperson said Wednesday morning he was in good condition. 

The Sheriff's Department was also assisted by the Ellsworth Fire Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Red Wing Fire Department and the Pierce County Highway Department.  

Deputy Andrew Thoms reports at the time of the accident it was snowing heavy. 

A notification from the State Patrol indicated the road remained closed in both directions until 3:37 a.m. as investigators made measurements of the accident scene.

Both north and southbound traffic was detoured on to CTH VV until the scene was cleared.

About 30 minutes earlier, River Falls emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash -- dispatched as a "head-on collision", on Hwy. 65 just south of the junction with Division Street.

One person was reported injured while another was shaken up but not transported.

Somerset and St. Joseph firefighters and Lakeview EMS responded to an injury accident about 9:15 p.m. near milepost 8 on Hwy. 35-64, west of Somerset. St. Croix deputies responded to at least five ditched vehicles through the course of the night as well.

Wet snow began falling in River Falls about 5:30 p.m. and by late evening about three inches had accumulated with flurries continuing until about dawn, Wednesday.

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