A 51-year-old Orono man was driving near his Lake Minnetonka home when he crashed into a grove of trees, killing two young men who were passengers in his car.
Authorities Monday identified the driver as James David Blue, who was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. The victims of Saturday's crash have been identified as Mack Motzko, 20, son of Gophers men's hockey coach Bob Motzko, and Sam Schuneman, 24, of Maple Grove.
An outpouring of tributes and sympathies flooded social media from the hockey community and loved ones stunned by the news. A memorial full of photos and flowers grew as mourners stopped by the site in the days after the deadly crash.
According to Orono police, the crash occurred at 11:23 p.m. Saturday near 3120 North Shore Drive, which runs along Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka.
Schuneman was in the front passenger seat and died at the scene. Police said Motzko was in the back seat and was taken to North Memorial Health Hospital, where he later died.
Chief Correy Farniok said in a phone interview Monday that Blue was thrown from the vehicle. He wasn't wearing a seat belt, but Farniok said the two other men were.
"As of right now, we don't know what [Blue's] condition is, but he is still hospitalized," Farniok said.
North Memorial did not immediately return calls to provide an update on Blue's condition.
The crash is under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol. Police said that alcohol and high speeds appear to be contributing factors.
Farniok said that once toxicology results and crash reconstruction are completed, the department will consider any charges related to the case.
Blue, who lives on North Shore Drive near the crash site, was convicted of a petty misdemeanor in 2017 for driving 89 mph in a 55 mph zone in Carver County.
Car debris from a black Bentley and tree branches covered a grassy ditch on North Shore Drive.
Along the eastbound shoulder, yellow paint marked a stretch of about 21 feet indicating how far the vehicle traveled off the road.
Tire marks on the grass crossed over a storm-water manhole just a few feet from a pile of downed trees that is now a memorial for the two young men.
On Monday morning, Minnesota Hockey tweeted that it had "just learned Sam Schuneman was in the vehicle with Mack and has passed as well. Thoughts and prayers to his family & the @MNSpecialHockey community as well!"
Schuneman sister, Maggie Schuneman, said in a Facebook post Monday morning that her "little brother passed away over the weekend." His brother, Luke Schuneman, wrote in an Instagram post that he was incredibly blessed to have Sam as his brother.
"Even though our time together was cut short, I'm beyond thankful for every moment we shared together and I can't wait to see you again some day. Love you brother," he wrote.
According to Sam Schuneman's Facebook page, he graduated from the University of St. Thomas in December 2019.
Motzko, of Deephaven, graduated from St. Cloud Cathedral High School in 2020 and spent the 2018-19 school year at Minnetonka after his father was hired as Gophers coach.
Bob Motzko posted a message on Twitter Sunday evening: "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our Mack. No bigger heart or young man loved than this kid. Thanks to all who have reached out. He is my hero!"
Staff writers Paul Walsh and Randy Johnson contributed to this report.
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751