4 male victims die in crash near Sleepy Eye

Published 4:33 pm Saturday, March 8, 2014

SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) — Three teenagers and a 20-year-old man died when the car they were riding in lost control on an icy highway near Sleepy Eye and veered into oncoming traffic, authorities said Saturday.

Four other people were injured in the Friday night crash in south-central Minnesota on Highway 14.

The accident is still under investigation, but State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said the circumstances of this crash are virtually identical to a crash that killed three college students in Northfield just one week earlier.

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“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.”

Roeske said a Pontiac Grand Prix was headed westbound on Highway 14 shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday when it crossed into oncoming traffic and was broadsided by a Dodge pickup.

There were five people in the car. The driver, Kansas Adams, 19, of Sleepy Eye, was seriously injured.

The four passengers were killed. They were identified as Payton Adams, 17, of Sleepy Eye; Caleb Quesenberry, 17, of St. Peter; John Mangen, 18, of Fairfax; and Tyler Hadley, 20, of Sleepy Eye.

Authorities believe Kansas and Payton Adams are brothers, Roeske said.

Roeske said Kansas Adams was the only person in the car who was confirmed to be wearing a seatbelt. The three back seat passengers were not wearing seatbelts, and authorities were not sure if the front seat passenger was belted in.

The driver of the pickup and his two children suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening. All three of them were wearing their seatbelts, and Roeske said authorities confirmed the driver, Douglas Wiborg, 43, of New Ulm, was not using alcohol.

It was not immediately clear whether Kansas Adams or anyone in the car had been drinking, Roeske said.

Just one week earlier, three Minnesota college students died in a crash near Northfield. And 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