“There was a substance believed to be marijuana located in the Pontiac Grand Prix,” said Roeske at a St. Paul news conference at noon Saturday. “However, what — if any — role that may have played in the crash is yet to be determined.”
Along with the Patrol and the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, the crash prompted a response from the Sleepy Eye Police Department, the Sleepy Eye Fire and Rescue Department and the Sleepy Eye Ambulance service. Both vehicles were totaled.
The crash came seven days after a very similar fatal collision near Northfield. In that case, five people between the ages of 19 and 21 were in a vehicle that slid across the center line of an icy two-lane state highway and was struck broadside by an on-coming truck. Three Carleton College students were killed and two others were seriously injured in that crash.
Roeske noted that thousands of Minnesota drivers have lost control of vehicles during recent winter storms and suffered little more than the inconvenience of getting towed out of a ditch.
“Depending on what’s coming in the other direction, it can be a horrific tragedy, as well,” he said of a vehicle sliding out of its lane. “... At the wrong time and the wrong place, it costs lives.”