Wife of GOP aide dies from injuries in Blaine crash

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 3, 2012 - 11:26 PM

The wife of a campaign aide to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty who was injured along with her husband in a crash last month in Blaine has died.

Sara Tiedeman, 33, of Blaine died "after a valiant four-week struggle," according to a website established to assist her and her husband, Chris Tiedeman, 35, who survived the crash with a suspected drunken driver on March 3.

"Sara now has her wings and is at peace," reads a notice posted Tuesday morning at tiedemanrecoveryfund.com. "The family has been comforted by your outpouring of support in this tumultuous time."

Chris Tiedeman is living at a care facility while he recovers from recent surgery and undergoes physical therapy, according to the website, which said he had been able to visit Sara in the hospital.

The driver of the other car, Jennifer Ann Soukup, 38, of Blaine, died a few days after the crash.

"A life ended so tragically and so unfairly would be too much to bear for the many, many people who count Chris and Sara among their friends, except that we remember the promise of this Holy Week," Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Pat Shortridge said in a statement Tuesday.

Authorities said that Soukup "had the smell of alcohol about her," according to Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer. Blaine Police Capt. Kerry Fenner added that officers detected an "odor of alcohol from inside the driver's compartment."

Soukup's car, heading north on the 9600 block of Radisson Road, crossed into the path of the Tiedemans' southbound car, according to police. Chris Tiedeman was driving, police said.

All three people were wearing seat belts.

Shortly before the crash, Sara Tiedeman tweeted about training for the half-marathon run in Duluth during Grandma's Marathon weekend in June.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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