Cause of crash that killed NDSU students in February identifiedSpeed contributed to the three-car pile up that killed four North Dakota State University students on Interstate 94 in February.
By: Crystal Dey, Alexandria Echo Press
Speed contributed to the three-car pile up that killed four North Dakota State University students on Interstate 94 in February.
In slippery conditions and snowy weather, a speed of 78 miles per hour has been identified as the cause of 18-year-old Lauren Peterson of Prior Lake losing control of a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu.
“Inclement weather and roadway conditions were present but did not cause the crash,” said Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol.
The car crossed the median and smashed into a 2008 Ford Expedition that was traveling east around 3 p.m. on February 20 near mile marker 97 outside of Alexandria.
Phone records, the car’s internal computer (like a black box on an airplane) and autopsy results aided in the investigation, Grabow said.
Roadway design, visual obstructions, alcohol, drugs, cell phone use or electronic devices were not a factor.
“It takes a lot of time to put together,” Grabow said.
Students Jordan Playle, 19, of Elk River, Megan Sample, 18, of Rogers and Danielle Renninger, 18, of Excelsior died at the scene with Peterson.
The young women were returning to Fargo from Minneapolis after the long weekend observing President’s Day.
The Douglas County attorney has reviewed the investigation and concluded there is no basis for criminal charges against any surviving motorists. All drivers were licensed and operating vehicles within any restrictions.