Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A college campus is reeling and four sets of parents are dealing with the loss of their daughters. Those young women were just starting out at North Dakota State University.
Lauren Peterson, Megan Sample, Jordan Playle, and Danielle Renninger died Monday on the way back to school from the Twin Cities.
Their car slid into oncoming traffic on Interstate 94 near Alexandria.
On Tuesday classmates left cards on the dorm where two of the friends lived. “Losing four out of the campus is like losing 4 family members,” said NDSU student Cody Hanson.
Each of the four women killed were freshman at NDSU and had only been students there for about five months. But cards and messages left on the doors of their dorm rooms showed just how much they’ll be missed.
“People that don’t even know these girls are mourning and sending their prayers to families and friends,” said NDSU student Courtney Picket.
More than 200 miles from Fargo, the sorrow was felt just as much. Each of the women graduated from high school in the Twin Cities. Peterson, who was driving Monday, graduated from Prior Lake.
On Peterson’s Facebook page friends remembered her love for dance. One wrote, “I’ve been thinking of you all day, it just seems so fake. I feel peace in the fact that your dancing on clouds, and hanging with the angels.”
Renninger graduated from Minnetonka High School and was studying marketing at NDSU. Tuesday morning students and teachers were remembering Danielle as someone who inspired others.
“A lot of us are just trying to figure out why stuff like this happens. We’re going through memories of Danielle and celebrating her life together,” said teacher Erik Sill.
Sample and Playle graduated from Rogers High School together, and lived in the same dorm room on campus.
In a statement, Jordan’s family said, “Jordan approached life with great joy and happiness. She loved life, and brought the best out in the people around her. No one could have a better daughter, sister, or friend.” “Jordan was a really pretty girl. Everyone liked her. There was no one who didn’t like her,” said Rogers student Logan Boward.
Playle, Sample, and Renninger all lived in the same dorm at NDSU. The women, along with Peterson, had been home visiting their families for President’s Day weekend. All four were wearing their seatbelts, and alcohol has been ruled out as a cause for the crash.
Renninger’s mom said her daughter told her she was proud of how she was doing in school, and that she was getting straight A’s. Her parents said she had a great smile and was wise beyond her years.
On Wednesday at Minnetonka High School they will have a pink-out day to remember Danielle.