Authorities have identified the man who drove the wrong way on a major north metro highway early Sunday and died after hitting two vehicles coming the other way, leaving two other people in critical condition.
Matthew R. Roessler, 23, of Brooklyn Park, was killed in the collision about 3:10 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 694 near Hwy. 65 in Fridley, according to the State Patrol.
Roessler was heading east in the westbound lanes of I-694 when he struck another car head-on and then hit an SUV, the patrol said. Roessler died at the scene.
"It's unknown how long the driver was in the wrong direction of travel," said State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson, "but we will look into that utilizing freeway cameras and possible witness statements."
Six other people in the other two vehicles were taken to North Memorial Medical Center.
In the SUV were members of a family from Coon Rapids: driver Tsewang Gyaltsen, 49, and passengers aged 12, 11 and 7. Tsewang Gyaltsen and the 12-year-old, Tenzin T. Gyaltsen, were in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.
Tsewang Gyaltsen was wearing a seat belt, while the 12-year-old was not, according to the patrol. The other two children, both in proper seat restraints, were treated and released.
Milissa V. Ries, 47, of Maple Grove, was driving the westbound car, with passenger Michael B. Wycoff, 38, of Winter Park, Fla. Both were treated at North Memorial and released.