A Saturday afternoon trip turned tragic for a Canadian family traveling on construction-riddled Interstate 94, after a four-car pileup left one woman dead near the Wright County Highway 19 exit.
The accident, according to the Minnesota State Patrol, occurred around 1:30 p.m. at the County 19 overpass. Four vehicles, coming into slowed or stopped traffic, collided in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 94.
Killed was 38-year-old Erin Bateman of Manitoba, Canada. Also injured was another passenger in her car, 10-year-old Elizabeth Sabourin, also of Manitoba. The driver of the car, Douglas Bateman, and his wife, Frieda, were also injured in their Hyundai Elantra. The two Winnipeg residents suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Minnesota State Patrol said Erin Bateman was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident.
The drivers of two other cars – Elizabeth Kulla, 30 of Fergus Falls; and Jon Hanson, 73, of New London – were not injured in the accident. Their cars – a Chevrolet HHR and Cadillac XLU, respectively – were both badly damaged in the pileup.
A fourth car, a Hyundai EGM, was also caught up in the crash. Ronald Johnson, 59, of Red Wing was the driver, and did receive treatment for his injuries, which were not life-threatening. His passenger, 27-year-old Stefan Johnson of Zumbrota, was not injured.
The interstate was shut down around 1:40 p.m. as a Life Link ambulance landed to transport the 10-year-old girl to Hennepin County Medical Center, where her condition is unknown at this time.
The interstate remained closed for nearly two hours as State Patrol officers, with the assistance of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, reconstructed the scene. Traffic was taken off I-94 at County 19 and put back on the eastbound side at County Road 37 in Albertville.
Albertville Fire and Rescue and Allina Ambulance were also dispatched to the accident, and assisted with treatment of passengers and setting up the landing area for Life Link.