Mother, 2 Daughters Killed In Head-On Crash

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A mother and two daughters who died on an icy highway in central Minnesota had gone out in a winter storm to pick up a prescription for one of the girls, a family member said Tuesday.

Melissa Lorenz, 31, and her two daughters, 10-year-old Angela and 7-year-old Desiree, from Flensburg, Minn., died Monday night on Highway 27 just west of Little Falls.

Lorenz’s sport utility vehicle was heading west on the two-lane highway when it crossed into oncoming traffic just before 7 p.m., striking an eastbound pickup truck head-on, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Another pickup truck then hit both vehicles. The drivers of the other two vehicles had non-life threatening injuries. The State Patrol said it still was investigating Tuesday and didn’t know why Lorenz’s vehicle crossed lanes, but officials believe the crash was weather-related.

Melissa Lorenz was a stay-at-home mom. Desiree attended Lindbergh Elementary School in Little Falls. Angela attended the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Fairbault.

“(Angela) was very good at sign language, very good at putting puzzles together and stuff,” said the father of the two girls, Scott Lorenz. “And just a joy, a blast to have around. Always on the run, always doing stuff. Desiree, she was my little cuddle bug. She was always right there to give you a hug and hold her hand.”

Highways throughout Minnesota were icy and covered with light snow Monday night. The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised drivers to use caution. Both girls were buckled in the back of the vehicle. Melissa was not wearing a seatbelt.

“We come over here to my parent’s house every weekend and visit my mom and dad,” said Scott Lorenz. “And the girls, they loved going to grandpa and grandmas for the day, for lunch, for play with the horses, cats and dogs … just not fair.”

Robert Lorenz, Scott’s father, said the family was close. Scott Lorenz had been married to Melissa for about 11 years, although they had been separated for about a year.

“To lose three people in the family is a major shock,” said Robert Lorenz.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Judy

    The are no words that can express the deep sorrow I feel for this womans family for the loss of your loved ones. My deepest sympathy. May God give you the strength to make it through this horrendous ordeal.

  • tom

    When ICY in minnesota SLOW DOWN. Where you need to be is not going anywhere. May the Lord give strength and comfort in this families ordeal.

  • Kerry

    This is truly tragic. My heart goes out to the family of that woman and her two young girls. Drive mindfully, Minnesota!!

  • Sondra

    I hope the fact that they were together and are still together will console the family in some sort of way. Prayers go out to the family…

  • David Wells

    This is a really sad time I hope the family will keep there heads up and believe that god is on there side

  • Momma of 2

    How tragic! This story breaks my heart. I hope the family and friends of these three beautifui women find some peace with the memories they had.

    God bless.

  • lisa

    Please respect the family enough to not put snide remarks in.The only people that know what went on are now deceased, please respect the family enough to keep your rude comments to yourself.MAy God be with the Family in this terrible loss.

    • Beej West

      I agree, Lisa.. did you report that guy? I did.

  • Momma of 2

    Don’t be so quick to judge. You have no idea what the curcumstance were that caused this accident.

    For all we know she could have been paying 100% attention, while white knuckled. It’s easy to say “what if” and “how come” after the fact. The reality is three young people lost their lives due to the tragic accident. Have a heart and some respect for the family and friends.

    Life is too short to be so judgemental and bitter.

    • Robbin

      Amen, your statement Momma of 2 is so very very true.
      God bless and hold the families in his hands and help guide them through this tragedy.

  • Momma of 2

    I commented on Billy’s statement, but it seems it was removed. Thank you WCCO!

    We have no idea what went on in that vehicle. I’m sure the mother was paying 100% attention and was probably white knuckled white driving. What a shame to say such hurtful and foolish things. Life is too short to be so bitter and selfish! It’s easy to say “what if” or “how come” after the fact. Sadly the reality is that no matter what rude things people say it won’t bring back these three people.

    Have a heart and don’t be so rude! God bless the families and friends of these three. My heart goes out to you all.

  • heather

    My thoughts and prayers go out to this family in their time of loss, may God comfort you and heal you.

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    If this had been a roundabout instead of a ‘typical’ intersection all three of these people would be alive. We need to press our municipal and county officials to design safer intersections so that these types of accidents are prevented before they occur.

    • Cathy

      I really can not believe that you actually posted that, sorry but three people lost there lives and you are worried about a roundabout intersection. The accident happened on a straight road they mention the intersection because that is where it happened on the straight road.

      • Rlorenz

        im sorry but this didnt happen at an intersection. these girls were my cousins.. thanks for your ‘sympathy’.

    • Concerned

      It happened about 1/4-1/2 of a mile away from and intersection. The road where it happened is really bad, it has a huge dip on both sides all the way across the road, that there are no warning signs of a dip. My heart and condolences go out to the family!


    Tears, a heavy heart and lots of prayers is for the entire family. Could anything be any sadder? May God lift up the family and give the strenght.

  • Kelly

    And no, there is still one living person who can recount what happened. Pray for him, as he was the person driving the pick up she slammed into.

  • red

    Some people have no heart and are so tasteless God bless these peoplein this accident and their families

  • CB

    So Sad – My Heart and Prayers are with all of the Family – I’m a father of 2 daughters, and Grandfather of 5 Grand Daughters and I can not even begin to imagine the sorrow and sadness that the family must be going through. Way to tragic, but I know and believe that they are all together in Heaven, and someday will meet all family members again. GOD BLESS THE FAMILY, AND SO SAD FOR YOUR LOSS.

  • Robyn

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the ENTIRE families involved.. May god give them the strength and guidance to make it through this terrible time. Let them all know that they are thought of and prayed for! My self and my two young children were suppose to go to LF last night, and we decided to stay home, it could have been us…”each day is a gift, that is why its called present” live each day like its your last!! I will be praying for the families non-stop! …..

  • Mike Lauthen

    May God bless the family

  • Michael S.

    Keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers as well.

  • Michael S.

    May God sustain you with His comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

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  • Lea Ashley

    Wow! Ice, distraction, no seat belt worn by the mom, at least one driver alive with terrible injuries, etc. We like to talk and talk more about terrible things that happen and try to justify whys. The weather was awful Monday. I drove in it not because I had to because i chose to. I went no more than 40 and in 2nd gear much of the time for added stopping distance.I kept several cars behind the one in front of me. I crawled to where I was going and crawled back. I saw no cars in the ditch and all the cars around me were driving about the same. I was lucky. If we can post a comment here WE ARE LUCKY TO BE ALIVE after our storm on Monday. May that poor father find new love someday. In the meantime I will add him to my long prayer list. How very sad.

  • AmandaT

    This is my oldest sister and my two beautiful nieces that were my entire world. My 5 year old daughter’s 2 best friends died that night, along with there amazing mother. I can speak for all of my family and friends when saying that we are not focusing on who did what. As far as the other driver’s and there families, be thankful you still have eachother, i would much rather be spending a week in the hospital visiting my recovering sister and nieces than spending the next week planning 3 funerals. For those of you out there with a heart, thank you. Thank you for caring for people you dont even know. And please continue to pray for my family, because this week is and will continue to be the hardest time of our lives. “Melissa, Angela and Desiree, i dont know how to live without you! Life will never be the same again, and i just wish you all could come back home! I love you all with my entire being and will miss you forever!”

    • rosepickle

      Those girls are beautiful. I have nieces and nephews also and could not imagine going through what you are. God Bless you Amanda and your whole family. Just keep in mind, God only throws obsticles your way if he knows you can overcome them. The Lord WILL be with you and your family through this tough time. Remeber the Poem “Footsteps” this is the time when he’s carrying all of you on his back. God Bless!!!

    • Kelly Jo

      Amanda, I am truly sorry for your loss. I do not know how I would react to losing any of my siblings…or nieces/nephews. You have said some very kind wonderful words. I will pray for you and your family.

  • rosepickle

    Ready this story sent shivers up and down my body. Such a tragic story. My Prayers go out to the family of the woman and her two daughters. I also believe they are now in a better place and all their sickness healed. GOD BLESS THE MOM AND DAUGHTERS AND GOD BLESS THE FAMILY INVOLVED!!!!! MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU!!

  • Chrystina Lorenz

    The girls were my nieces & Melissa was married to my brother-in-law. This is so sad & so hard to believe that it’s real. Remember to say, “I love you every chance you can” You never know if it will be the last. And, be kind no matter what.

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