A 16-year-old girl driving an SUV crossed the centerline late at night on a road west of Fargo, hit a van coming the other way and killed three people in that vehicle, authorities said.
The teenager and two other passengers in the cargo van also were injured in the collision that occurred about 11:35 p.m. Friday on Cass County Road 10 about 40 miles west of Fargo, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Traffic was rerouted for about five hours as law enforcement collected evidence and cleared the debris from the crash involving a Lincoln Aviator and Ford Econoline van, which blocked the road.
The van's driver, Matthew Wipf, 40, of Tower City, N.D. was killed along with two of his passengers: Kathy Wipf, 43, also of Tower City, and Dorothy Decker, 46, of Ipswich, S.D., according to the patrol. Both women were in the rear seat.
Two others in the van were injured: Henry Decker, 50, who was in the front passenger seat, and Heidi Hoffer, 35, who was in the rear seat. Both were also from Ipswich.
The teen driving the SUV was identified as Sophia Weshnevski, 16, of Buffalo, N.D. She was taken by air ambulance to a Fargo hospital with serious injuries, the patrol said.
If the teenager is charged, "those charges will not be released," a patrol statement read, citing her age.
Moments after the collision, a man driving a pickup ran into the damaged SUV, the patrol said. That driver, John Wurtz, 37, of Utica, S.D., was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. He was not injured.