A pickup truck driver lost control and crossed the centerline on a wintry Wisconsin road, striking and killing an 18-year-old St. Paul motorist, authorities said.
The crash occurred about 10:10 a.m. Monday southwest of Hayward on Hwy. 63 roughly a quarter-mile north of Hamilton Road, according to the State Patrol.
The teen was identified Tuesday morning as Henry E. Zietlow, of St. Paul.
The pickup driver, 23-year-old Andrew R. Ninke, of Deer Park, Wis., was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, the patrol said. The teen’s mother was a passenger in his car. Sarah M. Risser, 51, of St. Paul, was treated for noncritical injuries, according to the patrol.
“Devastating news to share,” Risser posted Monday afternoon on Facebook of her son, who graduated in June from St. Paul Academy. “We lost Henry in a car accident today. Our hearts are broken. Just 18.”
At the time of the crash, Zietlow was enrolled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where his father also attended, and was a first-year member of the varsity rowing team.
He also was a talented violinist who performed with the Minnesota Youth Symphonies Orchestra and last month in a Bowdoin Chamber Ensemble.
Bowdoin students were scheduled to return to classes next Tuesday for the start of the spring semester.
College President Clayton Rose, in an e-mail to students Monday night obtained by the student newspaper, wrote: “While Henry had completed just a single semester at Bowdoin, he was fully engaged in the life of the college.”
Ninke, towing a trailer with a car on it, was heading south on Hwy. 63 and crossed into the path of Zietlow’s northbound car.
“At this point, it appears that road conditions may have been the cause of the crash, but it still remains under investigation,” a statement from the patrol read.
The National Weather Service said there was light snow and freezing drizzle in that part of Wisconsin that created slick spots on some roads about that time.
Ninke’s wife, Ashly Ninke, commented on Facebook and displayed a local news article with photos of the mangled vehicles: “My heart aches when I read this. Today could have been so different. I am so very thankful. There are just no words to describe it.”