A deadly crash during a trip to Florida killed two women from the Twin Cities
Renae Gustafson was a physical education teacher at Metcalf Middle School in Burnsville. This was her spring break.
Gustafson, 43, went to Florida last weekend with two of her friends, and they were supposed to arrive back in the twin cities today.
Her family told KARE11 she loved life and lived it well – and that makes it so much harder to accept that hers ended.
Gustafson and her friend, 33-year-old Jennifer Keesey, both from Minneapolis, died early Thursday morning just north of Fort Lauderdale.
Keesey was driving their rental car, a white Chevy Monte Carlo. They were about to turn into the driveway of the condominium they were renting when, witnesses say, a black Corvette coming the other way slammed into them.
The Corvette was going so fast the impact made the Monte Carlo's engine fly out of its chassis.
Keesey and Gustafson died immediately.
Gustafson's college roommate, 43-year-old Krstine Boike of Brookly Park, was in the back seat and suffered serious injuries but survived.
Gustafson's family in Wilmar said the three girlfriends had gone to Florida to play golf.
“They enjoyed doing things together,” said her brother, Dean Gustafson. “They enjoyed life, you know, they had a lot of fun. Friends were very important to Renae, as was family.”
Renae’s sister said the news “hasn't sunk in yet.”
“It's (as if) she's still in Florida,” said Vickie Hotchkiss. “She's not back from vacation.”
Dean added: “You always hear on the news that somebody's gotten killed. And you go, that's kind of too bad. But until it happens to you, you kind of take life for granted.”
Gustafson's family says she also spent time raising money to fight cancer, after some of her friends were stricken with it.
In Florida, the two people in the Corvette only suffered minor injuries in that crash.
No charges have been filed as of Friday night.
Investigators collected blood samples so they can determine if alcohol was a factor.
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