Father, two children die in I-94 crashIn the flash of a few seconds, a West Fargo man and two of his children died in a three-vehicle crash just east of Alexandria on Christmas Eve morning.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
In the flash of a few seconds, a West Fargo man and two of his children died in a three-vehicle crash just east of Alexandria on Christmas Eve morning.
Icy road conditions were a factor in the crash, according to the State Patrol. Here’s what happened:
Shortly before 9 a.m., Thomas Martin of Fergus Falls was driving a 2007 Toyota Corolla just east of the entry ramp onto I-94 out of Alexandria when he lost control of the vehicle and it slid into the median.
A semi driver, Darrell Albertson of Fergus Falls, pulled over onto the shoulder of the freeway to help.
That’s when the Dunnuck family of West Fargo came across the scene. Samuel Dunnuck, 15, was driving the family’s 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer. He lost control of the vehicle just as it was about to pass the semi.
The Trailblazer hit the back of the semi and crossed the eastbound traffic lanes before crashing into the Corolla.
Samuel, his 48-year-old father, Thomas Dunnuck, and his 12-year-old brother, Gabriel Dunnuck, died.
Another Dunnuck child, 8-year-old Annie, was also injured in the crash. She was transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital, upgraded from critical to good condition and was released from the hospital on Sunday.
No other injuries were reported.
The Dunnucks were traveling to a holiday gathering in Etna Green, Indiana, about two hours southeast of Chicago.
Samuel, who would have turned 16 in March, had a learner’s permit to drive. All of the Dunnucks were wearing their seat belts.
The children’s parents were divorced, and their mother, Dianna Kappleman-Beyer of Fargo, went to the St. Cloud Hospital to help with Annie’s recovery.
Friends and relatives remembered the Dunnuck boys as good students, disciplined athletes and music lovers – and their father as a man who was always at their sports games and recitals.
“I was shocked, totally; it didn’t seem real,” said Sue Fliginger, a friend of the children’s mom. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Forst Dunnuck, Thomas’ father, said his son’s six siblings and their families had flocked to Etna Green to cope with the tragic loss. At Christmas dinner, they made a point of focusing on cheerful memories of Thomas and his sons, such as Samuel’s efforts to fix an old tractor on an uncle’s farm this past summer.
“We’re doing very well,” Dunnuck said. “We have a strong belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he has sustained us. We realize it’s the Lord’s timing.”
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Information from stories printed in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead was included in this story.