6 killed in crash near Cambridge

8:47 AM, Apr 26, 2010   |    comments
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Video: 6 killed in crash near Cambridge

  • Photo courtesy: Minnesota State Patrol
  • Travis Gryczkowski (photo from Facebook)
  • Tres Whitefeather (photo from Facebook)
  • Travis Buchan (photo from Facebook)
  • Photos from Facebook
  • Kelsee Blackledge (photo from Facebook)
  • Photo courtesy: Minnesota State Patrol
    

CAMBRIDGE, Minn. -- Grief counselors were available to students Monday throughout the Cambridge-Isanti School District after a weekend crash killed six people, including three teenagers.

Superintendent Bruce Novak says the 16-year-old girl who was the lone survivor of Sunday's crash and at least one teenage victim attended the high school.

Novak says a memorial service is planned Wednesday evening at the high school. He says there are no plans to cancel Saturday's prom.

Highway Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said there was a smell of alcohol from a Pontiac Grand Am that collided with a sport utility vehicle around 2:40 a.m. on Highway 95 west of Cambridge, about 40 miles north of Minneapolis. The roadway was wet at the time, investigators said.

RELATED: 10 killed in 3 weekend crashes in Minnesota

The 16-year-old driver, who got her license less than three weeks ago, was hospitalized in serious condition, Roeske said. Under conditions of her new license, she was not allowed to drive after midnight and could have only one other minor passenger in her vehicle.

Her name hasn't been released because of her age and the possibility of criminal charges, according to the patrol.

Her four passengers -- Kelsee Blackledge, 15; Tres Whitefeather, 16; Travis Buchan, 17; Travis Gryczkowski, 21 -- were killed. None appeared to be wearing their seat belts, though the driver told investigators she was belted in, Roeske said.

Two people in the SUV also died. Their names haven't been released.

"I'm pretty angry. My son said he loved me last night," Kendryna's mother, Deborah Kendryna of Cambridge, said through tears. "I just don't understand."

News of the accident spread quickly through the town, and several people visited the crash site Sunday. A bouquet of flowers was left at the scene.

"I still don't know if I can grasp it," said Jerry Johnson, who said he knew the Kendryna family. "It's going to shock Cambridge. It's going to shock those kids in school."

Superintendent Bruce Novak said grief counselors will be on hand Monday at Cambridge-Isanti High School, where at least one of the victims attended school.

"Students are certainly going to need help," Novak said.

Jimmy Gordon said the 16-year-old driver worked for him at his pizza restaurant and he was worried about her.

"I feel bad for her because that's something that can really mess you up," Gordon said while visiting the crash site.

The accident was among three weekend wrecks that involved teenagers. A 16-year-old girl died Saturday night in a two-vehicle crash near Onamia, while three teens were killed Friday when a pickup truck rolled in southeast Minnesota.

The victims of the Friday crash were identified as Shauna Marie Ruhoff, 16, the driver; Katie Lee Hornberg, 14; and Morgan Zeller, 13. None was wearing seatbelts, investigators said.

"Unfortunately, many of these crashes are preventable," Col. Mark Dunaski, chief of the State Patrol, said at the Cambridge crash scene Sunday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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