A Minnesota mother and her daughter have tragically died following a freak accident.
According to ABC News, 67-year-old Karen Christiansen and her daughter, 32-year-old Jena Christiansen, were driving on Rich Valley Road in Rosemount, Minnesota, around 4:50 p.m. on Monday when an 800-pound boulder fell off of a pickup in front of them. The massive rock slammed through the window of their 2002 Toyota Avalon and both women were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office later determined that both of Karen and Jana died from blunt force trauma to the head. Following the incident, police asked the public for their help in finding the driver of the truck that the rock fell off of. Finally, on Wednesday, the driver of the vehicle was arrested and brought into police custody.
According to authorities, 33-year-old Joe Czeck, of Hastings, Minnesota, was operating the commercial vehicle that killed the mother and her daughter. He was found and arrested in Inver Grove Heights and is currently being held in the Dakota County Jail, where charges are pending. Mitchell Scott, the Chief of the Rosemount Police Department, warned the public that it isn’t every day that things like this happen, but it is possible.
“It’s very rare, but it does happen. That’s why it’s so important to slow down and make sure loads are secure, because you’re taking other people’s lives in your hands.”
According to CBS, Ryan Killian, who is the boyfriend of the 32-year-old woman who was killed, released a heart-wrenching statement on his girlfriend’s death. In the statement, he called Jena the most “amazing” woman that he has ever met before saying that she made him into the man that he is today. Ryan also said that he was heartbroken before explaining that her death affected so many.
“Ok I know it was an accident but he didn’t just ruin two lives. Her father’s life, my life, her brothers, she literally was a huge part of Red Lobster. She was the general manager of many locations. All of her employees loved her. 3 red lobster locations are taking a day for the loss of a family member. She was with the company for over 15 years.”
Tributes also poured in for Karen Christiansen, who used to work at Dakota County Technical College. Marlo Teal, who worked with Karen, had nothing but good things to say about her.
“She touched hundreds of lives as people strived to improve themselves and help their families,” she said before adding that she is devastated over the loss.
This story also serves as a reminder to secure larger items properly before putting them in a vehicle.