A teenage driver's failure to obey a stop sign led to the crash that killed her and her boyfriend at an intersection in east-central Minnesota, authorities said Monday.
The deaths Saturday of Braham High School senior Alexis Hasser, 18, and junior Gavin Butenhoff, 16, has taken a heavy emotional toll on students, staff and others close to the couple. The school was opened Sunday for three hours to allow counselors and faith leaders to console those in need.
"This is a time of deep sadness for our Braham community," District Superintendent Ken Gagner said. "We offer our love and support for all those hurting."
Hasser was driving a car north on Rainbow Street about 9:30 a.m. and collided with an eastbound pickup truck at the intersection of 195th Avenue, roughly 7 miles east of Mora, according to the Kanabec County Sheriff's Office.
Emergency responders declared Butenhoff dead at the scene. Hasser was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and died there.
"It initially appears that Hasser did not stop for the stop sign at the intersection of 195th," Sheriff Brian Smith said Monday. The pickup had the right of way with no stop sign, the sheriff added.
Smith said it's too early to say why Hasser went through the stop sign, adding that "driver distraction and impairment are still under investigation. … Results of a blood test from Hasser are still pending."
The occupants of the pickup truck were Patrick Carl and his wife, Heather Carl, both 42, from nearby Pine City. They were taken to North Memorial with noncritical injuries. Heather Carl has since been released from the hospital, the sheriff said.