An SUV that spun out Thurs­day on a Wis­con­sin high­way near Pres­cott slid into the path of an on­com­ing truck, leav­ing two chil­dren dead and three oth­er peo­ple hos­pi­tal­ized, the Pierce County Sher­iff's Office said Fri­day.

Killed were the 11-year-old daugh­ter and a 5-year-old niece of the SUV driv­er, who was iden­ti­fied Fri­day as Kari Milberg, 32, of Centuria, Wis.

Milberg re­mains hos­pi­tal­ized in criti­cal con­di­tion at Re­gions Hospital in St. Paul.

Her 3-year-old son and a se­cond 5-year-old niece also re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized, but no in­for­ma­tion was avail­able on their con­di­tions. The chil­dren's names weren't re­leased.

The col­li­sion oc­cur­red about 3:40 p.m. Thurs­day on Hwy. 35 in Oak Grove Township, east of Hastings, the Sher­iff's Office said.

The driv­er of the truck, Jose Men­do­za, 24, of Rockford, Ill., was not in­jured, nor were his two pas­sen­gers.

The in­itial in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined Milberg was head­ed south in a 2005 Saturn Vue SUV when it ro­tated side­ways across the road­way into the north­bound lane, Sher­iff Nan­cy Hove said. The truck col­lided with the rear of the SUV near 468th Avenue. Milberg's 11-year-old daugh­ter died at the scene, and her 5-year-old niece was de­clared dead at River Falls Area Hospital.

The Sher­iff's Office is in­ves­ti­gat­ing road con­di­tions to determine if they were a fac­tor. The Wis­con­sin State Patrol is re­con­struct­ing the ac­ci­dent.

Kari Milberg and her fam­i­ly live about an hour north of the ac­ci­dent scene, along Hwy. 35 in Centuria, which is in Polk County.

Milberg is a night-shift nurse and sin­gle moth­er, said Kar­en Chris­tian­sen, who lives next to the farm­house that she rents to Milberg. Christiansen, po­lice and oth­ers are watch­ing over the home.

"It's so terri­ble that this hap­pened," Chris­tian­sen said, chok­ing up. "Her daugh­ter was a sweet girl."

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482