MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two families are now grieving for two men, who were killed early Wednesday morning in a head-on wrong-way crash along Interstate 94.
The accident happened at midnight near Lowry Avenue, just north of downtown Minneapolis.
Based on a 911 call placed just before the accident, the Minnesota State Patrol believes 49-year-old Reginald White left downtown Minneapolis and began going north on I-94 in the southbound lane. Soon, his vehicle crashed directly into a Jeep Liberty SUV.
The driver of the Jeep has been identified as 21-year-old Jason Norbeck of Maplewood.
“He had a wonderful personality. He was very easy going. He loved everybody. Everybody loved him,” said Norbeck’s mother, Kim Norbeck. She said her son was working two jobs in the Twin Cities, following graduating from Roseville High School in 2007. “He was a good kid,” she said.
White’s fiancée, Teresa Molinaro, learned of his death Wednesday morning. They have a 2-year-old daughter together and were planning on getting married in September.
“He was a wonderful father, and he was my rock. He kept us together,” said Molinaro.
Both drivers were not wearing a seat belt, according to the State Patrol.
Investigators will be looking at traffic cameras to determine when and where White began going the wrong way.
“It was basically his fault,” said Molinaro about her husband causing the crash. “I also feel bad for the other victim’s family, too. I don’t want to be selfish. I give them my condolences.”
Investigators aren’t sure if White had his vehicle lights turned on.
Witnesses told troopers that Norbeck had passed their vehicle, and then pulled in front of them seconds before the crash, giving him very little time to get out of the way.
“Sad. I just don’t think life’s fair. Why does God have to take the good ones away?” said Norbeck’s father, Jack Hartshorn. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over this.”
Now, Molinaro says she feels for her daughter, Renna, who will grow up never knowing her father.
“I don’t know when I’m going to break or what I’m going to do,” said Molinaro. “I know that she deserved a father and it’s just not fair.”
Investigators say an autopsy will show whether or not alcohol played a role in this crash. There were no open beer cans or bottles and no smell of alcohol, according to the patrol.
Watch John Lauritsen’s Earlier Report