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.
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