The only survivor in a pickup with five people was the driver who turned into the path of a semitrailer truck at a rural intersection in east-central Minnesota, authorities said Friday.
Nikko Jensen, 21, of nearby Bruno, was flown to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth after the crash Tuesday evening just east of Askov, according to the Pine County Sheriff's Office. He has since been released from the hospital.
Killed were Arden Edwards, 58, of Askov; Brett Larson, 21, of Sandstone; Catherine Peterson, 20, of Askov, and Felicity Jensen, 17, of Bruno.
Nikko and Felicity Jensen are siblings, and Edwards was their uncle, the Sheriff's Office said.
Two of the four who were killed were seated in the pickup's bed, which is legal in Minnesota. Edwards was seated next to the passenger door, but authorities have yet to say who was in the back of the pickup or in the cab's middle seat.
All but Edwards were thrown from the vehicle upon impact, authorities said.
The semi driver was identified Friday as Dennis Sostak, 50, of Askov. He was driving a side-dump gravel truck, which was empty at the time. Sostak was not hurt.
"As you can imagine," Chief Deputy Scott Blackwell said in a statement released Friday, "this incident has been very traumatic for him as he is a member of this community as well."
The westbound pickup turned left from Rutabaga Road onto Clark Road and into the path of the eastbound semi traveling at 55 miles per hour, Blackwell said. The crash happened as the pickup was about to reach Peterson's home on Clark.
"Up to this point," the chief deputy said, "there still remains no indicationsof alcohol use or negligence by either driver."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482