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Highway 79 crash kills one person

STURGIS, S.D. – The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that occurred on Highway 79, north of Bear Butte Monday.

The Meade County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened around 11:20 Monday morning, about two miles north of Big Horn Road.

The highway patrol says a 29-year-old man driving a 2003 Chevrolet Cobalt traveling on SD 79 crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic near mile marker 120. An approaching 2010 Peterbilt semi tried to avoid the collision by braking and steering into a ditch. The passenger car continued toward the semi until they collided.

The driver of the passenger car suffered fatal injuries. Seatbelt use for the driver is under investigation. The driver of the semi was wearing a seatbelt.

The accident closed a portion of Highway 79 for several hours.

Northbound traffic on Highway 79 was being diverted onto Big Horn Road east of Sturgis and southbound traffic was being detoured on to 196th St.

The names of the persons involved have not been released pending notification of family members.

The highway patrol is investigating the crash.

The Sheriff’s Office says they appreciated the patience of all the truckers, who were unable to get turned around and patiently waited while the critical work of the investigation was completed.

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