MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One person is dead and four others are hospitalized after a car was split in half after colliding with a tree in Woodbury Saturday night.
According to Woodbury Public Safety, 911 callers reported a crash on Settlers Ridge Parkway near Sundance Way just after 11 p.m. First responders found a bisected Honda Accord and began treating the five people involved in the crash. One person had been ejected from the vehicle, while the other four were still inside.
The person ejected is dead, public safety said, and the other four were taken by ambulance to local hospitals. Their conditions are unknown.
Woodbury Public Information Officer John Altman says all five involved are teenagers.
“There’s a lot of emotion for everyone to process, and our hearts are heavy for all those involved and affected by this crash,” Altman said.
Monday, Woodbury Public Safety identified the deceased teenager as Garrett Bumgarner. Three others who are in serious, but stable, condition were identified as Connor Bro, Jack Mears and Andrew McKevitt. The driver has not been identified due to data practices law, public safety said.
Flowers now mark the spot where the crash happened, giving a place for friends to come and reflect.
Ryinn Lindahl is a friend of the teenager who died.
“I actually saw him a couple days ago … it just doesn’t feel real,” Lindahl said. “He’s always there to cheer me up. He’s just one of those people that are never negative.”
Dozens of friends and classmates came by the crash site Sunday afternoon, including neighbor Sophia Stone.
“I can’t believe that my neighbor passed away. The same person I see every day outside, I won’t see him anymore,” Stone said.
Kara Rowan lives near the crash site. She says there’s a dip going downhill along Settlers Ridge Parkway, which can be a hazard if people are speeding.
“It’s just the way the road naturally kind of dips,” Rowan said. “You can’t really even see it, but it’s there.”
She says speed is a consistent problem along that road.
“The speed limit is 40 mph, for being so residential and a community so full of children, it’s too high to begin with,” Rowan said.
She hopes this fatal crash leads to some real safety changes along the parkway.
“Can a roundabout be put in? I would think there would be some inexpensive, reasonable ways to help this stretch of road be less dangerous,” she said.
No matter what changes are made to the stretch of road, this loss that will leave an impact on the young, new drivers in this community.
“I hope that this is a wakeup call for teenagers in Woodbury,” Stone said.
At least some of the teenagers involved this crash attend East Ridge High School. The South Washington County School District said grief counselors will be available to students starting Monday.