Four students died in a horrific car crash during a snow storm while traveling back to college after visiting their family over the holiday weekend. Roommates Danielle Renninger, Megan Sample, both 18, Jordan Playle, 19, and Lauren Peterson, 18, who was driving the vehicle, died when they were driving back to North Dakota State University on Monday.
Michelle Renninger of Excelsior says her 18-year-old daughter, Danielle, and three other Minnesota friends died when their car crossed the median on Interstate 94 and was broadsided by an SUV on Monday afternoon.
She told the Star Tribune her daughter was ‘such a wonderful, beautiful girl’ and that the whole family, including brother Logan, 13 and father Michael, were ‘simply devastated’ by her death.
The State Patrols says two others traveling in other vehicles were injured in the crash, but are expected to survive.
The crash happened shortly after 3pm when the roads were slippery and slushy and snow was falling.
The heavy snow, fog, strong winds and temperatures hovering around freezing made travel difficult on Monday.
The State Patrol has not made a final determination on whether those conditions were factors in the crash but other drivers said conditions were treacherous.
All four girls were wearing seat belts and alcohol is not thought to have been a factor in the crash.
The SUV that struck the women’s car was hit from behind by a third vehicle. Injured victims in those vehicles were taken to a nearby hospital.
State Patrol Sgt Jesse Grabow said: ‘Anyway you put this, it’s a bad dea. Fatals are never good, and when you get four people in one vehicle it just makes it that much worse.
‘I’d advise people to use caution while traveling. Slow it down. This is a reminder that winter is still here and we need to slow down and pay attention.’