Publish date:

Bulgarian weightlifting champion killed in Mendota Heights crash

Antonio Krastev was a a two-time world weightlifting champ.

The man killed in a fatal Twin Cities car crash last week has been identified as a former weightlifting champion from Bulgaria.

Antonio Krastev, 58, died early Thursday morning on Highway 13 in Mendota Heights, after being ejected from his vehicle as it rolled off the road.

According to a State Patrol incident report, the GMC Yukon ran a red light at Highway 55, then failed to negotiate a curve, crossing the median into oncoming traffic before leaving the road. 

Krastev, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pinned under his vehicle as a result. Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

On its website, the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation describes Krastev as "one of the greatest Bulgarian weightlifters," and says he was a "two-time world (Södertale 1985 and Sofia 1986) and two-time European (Karl-Marx-Stadt 1986 and Reims 1987) champion" in his sport. 

The federation also says the American magazine Power Lift once called him "The Strongest Man on the Planet." 

According to their report on his death, Krastev moved to North America in 1991, operating a weightlifting club at the University of Toronto for a time before moving to Minnesota, where he opened a private weightlifting club and "recently worked as a truck driver."

Next Up

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.



Motorcyclist dies in crash on Hwy 252 onramp in Brooklyn Center

He had been traveling westbound on Interstate 694.


Report: Pedestrian killed while crossing highway in Isanti County

The victim has been identified as a 63-year-old woman.

Kenneth "Papa Smurf" Candelaria

Man killed in crash near Menomonie identified as local rocker

"He is officially playing his big gig in the sky," his obituary says.

1 killed in Wisconsin crash involving Minnesotan

2 others are hospitalized with "serious injuries"