An Edina man was killed and two of his passengers were airlifted to a metro hospital following a four-vehicle crash on Interstate 35 at the Hwy. 19 interchange.
The vehicles were all southbound on I-35 shortly after 5:30 p.m. Friday when they collided, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. In a Monday press release, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the crash was caused by a driver following too closely and rear-ending another motorist.
Michael Rae Bendel-Stenzel, 55, who was driving a 2012 Mini Cooper, was declared dead at the scene, the patrol reported. Bendel-Stenzel a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Minnesota, according to the hospital’s website, is the fifth person to die on Rice County roads so far this year.
Bendel-Stenzel’s passengers, Ellen Margaret Bendel-Stenzel, 53, and Linus Michael Bendel-Stenzel, 20, both of Edina, were airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center reportedly with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, Kaytlen Paige Greenlee, 22, of Adams, Minnesota, and her passenger, Megan Rebecca Koch, 25, of Austin, were taken to District One Hospital in Faribault. The drivers of two other vehicles and one of their passengers were reportedly uninjured.
Assisting troopers at the scene were the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, North Memorial Aircare, Northfield Police Department, Northfield Ambulancee, Lonsdale Ambulance and Lonsdale Fire Department.