A 15-year-old sophomore at Waseca Junior/Senior High School was killed in a one-car crash Wednesday night in Waseca County.
Alexus Tiegs, a vibrant and well-liked member of her school choir, was the passenger in a Ford Ranger truck that went into a ditch, struck a telephone pole and broke the pole in half around 9:30 p.m. The truck rolled over and Tiegs was thrown from the vehicle and onto the opposite side of the road.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver, a 16-year-old boy whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital in Mankato with noncritical injuries.
The rollover occurred at 128th Street near the intersection with 330th Avenue.
A sheriff's deputy who responded to the rollover also was injured at the scene when he inadvertently came into contact with a downed power line. Josh Langr, a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was airlifted to HCMC in Minneapolis with third-degree burns on his feet. Langr, a Waseca graduate whose father also worked for the Sheriff's Office, was in stable condition Thursday afternoon, according to Waseca County Sheriff Brad Milbrath.
"It's just a tragic situation for the community all the way around, especially with the loss of a young life," Milbrath said.
Milbrath said alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in the rollover. The driver may have just overcorrected on the road and crashed, he said.
School staff was prepared to console students when they arrived for classes Thursday.
"It is not an easy day," said Tom Lee, superintendent of Waseca Public Schools.
Lee added that the teenage driver of the pickup truck "will be dealing with this for a long time, and he'll need a lot a support. And this community will give it to him."