Bemidji woman killed in Leech Lake crash

A Bemidji woman was killed and a Roseville man was seriously injured in an alcohol-related crash early this morning on the Leech Lake reservation.

The state patrol says 23-year-old Darlene Johnson was southbound on Highway 371 near Oak Point Road around 12:43 a.m.

Twenty-four-year-old Steven Lasser was northbound approaching the same intersection when the two vehicles collided in a head-on crash.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene and was wearing a seat belt. She was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix.

Lasser was transported to a Sanford Hospital in West Fargo. He was driving a Ford F150.

It is not known if he was wearing a seat belt, but officials believe he was under the influence of alcohol.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office, North Ambulance Air Care, Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, and Bemidji Police Department assisted at the scene.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.

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