As a child growing up in Hopkins, Bart Hazlett got an early and deep appreciation for food, according to relatives.
"My mom liked to cook," Bret Hazlett, his twin brother, said Sunday afternoon. "She taught him a lot."
Bart Hazlett, 52, of St. Anthony, died Friday night near Lindstrom in Chisago County while driving three of his children to a relative's graduation party.
Also killed in the crash were his children Olivia Hazlett, 11, and Roan Hazlett, 9.
A third child, Zoe Hazlett, 15, was injured in the crash. She is at Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul with broken bones, Bret Hazlett said.
The crash happened after a van driven by a 68-year-old woman crossed the center lane and hit the Hazlett vehicle, according to the Chisago County Sheriff's Office, which on Sunday said it is continuing to investigate the crash.
The van was driven by Eileen O'Hara of Marine on St. Croix, the Sheriff's Office reported. She was hospitalized with serious injuries at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
"He was a guy with great morals and a big heart," said Bret Hazlett. "He loved his family, he loved his kids."
Bart Hazlett, whose nickname was Buck, was a silent partner in Maverick's Real Roast Beef restaurant in Roseville, his brother said.
The brothers came up with the name for the restaurant quickly, basing it in on the old TV western "Maverick," which followed the exploits of brothers Bret and Bart Maverick in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
"My father was big fan of the show," Bart Hazlett said.
The twin said his brother took his interest in food and wrapped it around his life: He started the Panini catering company in Minneapolis in the 1990s, managed and owning restaurants in Minneapolis in the 1980s. He graduated from Hopkins Eisenhower High School in 1977, and then lived in New York City for a time, waiting on tables and performing music.
Bret Hazlett said his brother played the drums in high school and later performed with Twin Cities bands.
He stopped performing to focus on home schooling his children.
"He just loved them," Bret Hazlett said. "And he wanted to do a good job."
Bart Hazlett and the two children are survived by his wife and the couple's other child, a 12-year-old girl.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Heron Marquez • 952-707-9994