MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The highway was dry between St. Peter and Mankato when a car crossed the center median and hit an oncoming truck, killing three and injuring three others, authorities said.
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said a Dodge Caliber crossed the centerline Sunday and collided with a Ford F-150 pickup on Highway 169.
Lindi Paul, 36, of St. Peter and her 5-year-old daughter, Emma Paul, were killed in the Caliber. Michael O’Boyle, 65, of Marion, S.D., who was driving the pickup, also died.
A 4-year-old girl in O’Boyle’s pickup was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The other passengers — a woman and an 8-year-old boy — didn’t have life-threatening injuries.
Lindi Paul graduated from St. Peter High School and was studying criminal justice at Rasmussen College. She was working in the office of Davisco Foods International in Le Sueur, The Free Press of Mankato reported.
“Lindi Paul was part of the Davisco family for 15 years. Words cannot express our sorrow. The company will not be the same without Lindi,” Davisco said in a statement Monday.
Tom Leonhardt of St. Peter was returning from Mankato with his daughter when he came upon the accident. He told the newspaper he pulled to the side of the road, told his daughter to remain in the vehicle and ran to help the three to four other people trying to get occupants out of the pickup, which was in the ditch.
Leonhardt said he could hear people screaming in the pickup. He said they were able to immediately remove the children from the back seats, but Michael O’Boyle was trapped in his seat and could not be freed, even with a crowbar Leonhardt had brought from his vehicle.
Leonhardt said the Caliber also had been totaled and that the driver had been thrown from the vehicle. He said it was clear she had died at the scene.
“A lady that had been behind me (when I pulled over) knew CPR and ran over to the car. She ended up coming back in tears,” Leonhardt said.
The State Patrol is still investigating the cause of the accident. Patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Jaci Sticha said the investigation could take several weeks.
The patrol said the roads were dry. It said no alcohol was detected and everyone was using seat belts, except Lindi Paul.
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