A family attempting to make its way home to Becker was torn apart by what police are saying was a driver attempting to “beat out” a light on U.S. Highway 10 last night west of Big Lake in a crash that killed a father and sent two of his children to the hospital.
Charles P. Maurer, 54, Becker, was killed when the 2006 Dodge Caravan he was driving northbound on Sherburne County Highway 11 was broadsided at the US 10 intersection by a Ford F-150 headed eastbound, driven by 18-year-old Deven Garlock of Little Falls, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
All eight people involved in the accident – the two drivers and six passengers, were transported to local hospitals. Charles Maurer was air lifted to North Memorial, where he was pronounced dead. His daughter, Casey, 10, was also air lifted by North Memorial Air Care. She is in critical condition, but improving, according to sources. Two other passengers in the van – Alenita Maurer, 15, and Alora Nelson, 15, were taken to local hospitals with injuries that were not considered to be life threatening.
Garlock, along with teen passengers George Saldana, Caysi Jaronkie and Carlee Bollig, all off Little Falls, were transported by ground ambulance with non life-threatening injuries.
The two drivers and six passengers were all wearing seatbelts, according to the State Patrol.
Charles Maurer is related to longtime St. Michael Catholic School volunteer and paraprofessional Jean Maurer of St. Michael.
The Minnesota State Patrol said the intersection at Highway 10 and Sherburne County 11 is a busy one for drivers head west of Big Lake, but is usually a safe one.
State Patrol Lieutenant Paul Van Voorhis. says it could take 60 to 90 days for the investigation to wrap up, and then prosecutors will determine whether charges are filed in the crash. At this point investigators do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the fatal crash.