YANKTON, S.D. | Two people were killed in a fiery head-on collision on Highway 50 east of Yankton early Monday morning.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Highway 50 and County Road 448 around 5:30 a.m., the Yankton County Sheriff's Office said.
Officials said the sheriff's department was notified of a vehicle driving westbound in the eastbound lane of Highway 50. Soon after they were notified of an accident that had caught fire, the release said.
The driver of the vehicle going the wrong way, an unidentified 31-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene after the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames, a release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said.
Emergency personnel extricated the driver of the second vehicle, an unidentified 30-year-old woman, and took her to Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. Later she was transported to a Sioux Falls hospital, where she died of her injuries, the release said.
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After the accident, two other vehicles driving east crashed into the vehicles involved in the first accident. None were injured in the second accident, however, the release said.
The identities of the crash victims have not yet been released pending notification of family.
Officials are investigating why the male driver was driving in the wrong lane and if Monday's winter weather played a role in the accident, said Tony Mangan, public information officer for the Department of Public Safety.
"It's all part of the investigation," Mangan said.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol and emergency responders from Yankton and Gayville assisted the Yankton County Sheriff's Office at the scene.