An Iron Range family out for a late-night drive collided with a moose Saturday night and sent the animal through the car's windshield, authorities said.
The Ford Mustang struck the animal about 11:50 p.m. Saturday on northbound Hwy. 53, about 25 miles south of Eveleth, the State Patrol said Sunday.
The driver, Arthur J. Peterson, 40, of Eveleth, and sons Andrew, 7, and Michael, 8, were not hurt, the patrol said.
However, Erica A. Peterson, 37, suffered noncritical injuries and was taken by emergency personnel to a Duluth hospital, according to the patrol.
As for the moose, State Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank said Monday that the adult female did not survive the collision.
The moose is the largest wildlife species in Minnesota, and a full-grown female can top out at roughly 800 pounds, according to conservation officials.
The state's moose population, whose typical range is in northwestern and northeastern Minnesota, is the largest it has been in more than a decade, after 11 consecutive years of remaining relatively stable, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said this spring.
The DNR's 2022 survey estimated the moose population at about 4,700, with a potential range from 3,440 to 6,780 animals.
Biologists can't see or count every moose across the 6,000-square mile survey area, so the survey provides an estimate. They survey a portion of the moose range every year to come up with an estimate but canceled the 2021 survey because of the pandemic.