4 young men die in icy highway collision in southern Minnesota


Four young men are dead after a crash on an icy highway in southern Minnesota, the State Patrol says.

Payton R. Adams, 17, of Sleepy Eye; Tyler S. Hadley, 20, of Sleepy Eye; John D. Mangen, 18, of Fairfax; and Caleb B. Quesenberry, 17, of St. Peter, all died from the collision. All four, according to the State Patrol, were passengers in a Pontiac Grand Prix traveling westbound on Highway 14.

Kansas Adams, 19, of Sleepy Eye, was driving. He suffered serious injuries.

The vehicle carrying the five men collided with a pickup truck just after 8:15 p.m. Friday. The State Patrol report says the truck's three occupants suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The State Patrol says the Grand Prix was traveling west on the two-lane Highway 14, just west of Sleepy Eye, and entered a curve to go southbound. The driver lost control of the vehicle at the turn and crossed into the northbound lane, where it was struck by the pickup.

You can watch the State Patrol's press conference regarding the crash here:

According to the Star Tribune, Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol said none of the three men in the back of the Grand Prix was wearing a seat belt. It's unknown if the front passenger was belted in. The driver, Kansas Adams, who is still hospitalized, was wearing a seat belt.

All three occupants of the pickup – Douglas P. Wiborg, 43, of New Ulm; Jakob Wiborg, 9; and Sydney Wiborg, 7, – had their seat belts on, Roeske said, according to the paper. Roeske said Wyborg had not been drinking.

The pickup reportedly struck the Grand Prix on the passenger side.

The Pioneer Press reports a small amount of a substance authorities believe to be marijuana was found in the Grand Prix. But Roeske says it is unknown whether that may have been a factor in the crash. It's also unknown if alcohol played a role.

The State Patrol describes the conditions at the time of the crash as icy. The Star Tribune says Brown County authorities sent sand trucks to the scene in hopes of preventing any additional crashes along the slippery stretch of road.

The Department of Transportation on Saturday morning described travel conditions in that area of the state as difficult – including Highway 14 from New Ulm west through Springfield.

This is the second deadly highway collision in a week. Three Carleton College students were killed on Feb. 28 after the SUV they were in spun out on an icy road near Northfield and collided with an oncoming semi truck. Two other occupants –19-year-old Connor Eckert from Seattle, and 20-year-old William Sparks from Evanston, Illinois, who was the driver – are still hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Funeral services for James Adams, 20, of St. Paul and Paxton M. Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater were scheduled for Saturday. Michael Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Connecticut, was laid to rest on Thursday. Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash, but the road was described was icy at the time of the incident.

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