LITTLE FALLS, Minn. -- A mother and her two young daughters were killed in what the Minnesota State Patrol is crossover crash at an icy intersection near Little Falls Monday night.
The victims are identified as 31-year-old Melissa Lorenz, her 10-year-old daughter Angela, and 7-year-old daughter Desiree, all from Flensburg, Minnesota.
Troopers say a 1997 Honda Passport driven by Melissa Lorenz crossed the center line at a Highway 27 intersection four miles west of Little Falls and struck a GMC pickup truck driven by 56-year-old Robert Nieman of Little Falls head on. Another pickup driven by 29-year-old Kelly Rutz of Randall then collided with both vehicles.
The crash happened just before 7 p.m.
Nieman and Rutz were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
"To lose three people in the family is a major shock," Robert Lorenz, Melissa's father-in-law, said Tuesday. He said the family, which lived in Flensburg, went to Little Falls because Angela needed a prescription.
Robert Lorenz said the family was close. His son, Scott Lorenz, had been married to Melissa for about 11 years, although they had been separated for about a year.
"I can't believe I lost all three of them in one ... ," Scott Lorenz told the Star Tribune, his voice trailing off.
Melissa Lorenz was a stay-at-home mom. Desiree attended Lindbergh Elementary School in Little Falls. Angela attended the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Fairbault.
Melissa Lorenz took her daughters to her in-laws' farm for dinner every Sunday, Robert Lorenz said.
"They always enjoyed coming here and seeing the animals," Robert Lorenz said.
A memorial fund has been set up by a friend of the Lorenz family. Donations are being accepted at all U.S. Bank branches in the name of the Lorenz Memorial Account.
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