A head-on crash in McLeod County killed a onetime reserve sheriff’s deputy and injured his wife, authorities said.
The collision southwest of Lester Prairie occurred late in the afternoon on Christmas Day on 180th Street, west of Baldwin Court, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Virgil Richter, 69, of Glencoe, was driving a minivan when it hit a large SUV head-on, the Sheriff’s Office said. He was taken to North Memorial Medical Center and died there.
All seven people in the SUV, a couple and five children, were injured but expected to survive, the Sheriff’s Office added.
“It is with great sadness we report the passing away of retired McLeod County posse member Virgil Richter,” a Sheriff’s Office statement read. “We pray for all the people and family members involved as multiple members of one family were also taken to a nearby hospital.”
Richter’s wife, Bonnie, 63, was hospitalized in Waconia. She had been employed by the county as an administrative assistant before taking a job in the private sector.
Driving the SUV was Dolores Ramirez De Juarez, 35, of Glencoe. Her passengers were identified as husband Salvador Juarez-Medina, 36, and children ages 13, 10, two 3-year-olds and an infant.
In response to the crash, the Taqueria Del Buen Pastor restaurant in Glencoe said that it will be closed until Jan. 3. The restaurant owner’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren comprised the family in the SUV. Those who were old enough to work worked there, said Victor Ramirez, speaking on behalf of the restaurant.
“So far, there are multiple members still in the hospital,” Ramirez said, “and it is unknown when they will be able to leave.”
Authorities have not said which vehicle strayed over the centerline before the head-on collision.