Accident claims 4 young lives in SE
SLEEPY EYE – Four young men, ages 17 to 20, were killed and four others injured Friday night in a two-vehicle crash on an icy Highway 14, west of Sleepy Eye near the intersection of Highway 14 and 280 Avenue.
The victims include John D. Mangen, 18, of Fairfax; Caleb B. Quesenberry, 17, of St. Peter; Payton R. Adams, 17, of Sleepy Eye, and Tyler S. Hadley, 20, of Sleepy Eye.
The four were all passengers in a car driven by Kansas T. Adams, 19 of Sleepy Eye, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Kansas Adams is a brother of Payton Adams.
The State Patrol said Adams was westbound on Highway 14 at about 8:18 p.m., driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. He entered a curve, heading south, and lost control at the curve, entering the eastbound land. The car was struck broadside by an eastbound 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup driven by Douglas P. Wiborg, 43, of New Ulm.
Kansas Adams was seriously injured in the crash. Wiborg and his children, Jakob Wiborg, 9, and Sydney Wiborg, 7, received non-life threatening injuries.
According to the State Patrol, marijuana was located in the Grand Prix, but it’s unknown if that or alcohol played a role in the crash. The Patrol said Wiborg had not been drinking.
According to the State Patrol, Kansas Adams was the only one in the Adams car who was known to be wearing a seat belt. Eveyone in the Wiborg vehicle was wearing a seat belt.
The Sleepy Eye Ambulance, Sleepy Eye Fire and Rescue, Sleepy Eye Police and Brown County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.
The accident is still under investigation, but State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said Saturday that the circumstances of this crash are virtually identical to a crash that killed three college students in Northfield just one week earlier.
“What we do know is a vehicle lost control on an icy road and went into the path of another, for the second time in two weeks, resulting in a total of seven lives lost,” Roeske said. “That’s something we don’t want to have to be here again talking about.”
Two years ago, four North Dakota State University students died in a crash on Interstate 94 near Alexandria.
Roeske said all cases were similar: They all involved several young people in a car that lost control in slippery weather conditions and went into oncoming traffic.
“Anybody heading out on the roads needs to be acutely aware of the conditions and adjust their driving accordingly,” Roeske said.