Authorities say a driver and her daughter were killed when an 800-pound boulder rolled off the back of a landscaping truck and struck their car in suburban St. Paul. Sixty-seven-year-old Karen Christiansen and her 32-year-old daughter, Jena Christiansen, were killed in Rosemount Monday afternoon when the boulder dislodged from the truck and hit their Toyota Avalon.
They both died at the scene.
Using surveillance video, Rosemount police detectives were able to identify Czeck Services as the company that owned the commercial vehicle involved in the incident, reports CBS affiliate WCCO. The driver of the vehicle was then identified as 33-year-old Joe Czeck of Hastings.
Czeck was located in Inver Grove Heights, was arrested and booked into the Dakota County Jail, WCCO said. Charges against him are reportedly pending.
Authorities say it took four firefighters to move the boulder, which went through the entire vehicle, WCCO reports.
‘What’s sad about this is it could have been prevented,” Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott told the station. “It’s so important, we’re in a society today where we’re in such a hurry that we don’t always secure things. It’s so important to secure loads.”
Ryan Killian, the boyfriend of Jena Christiansen, released a statement on her death Wednesday night to WCCO. Speaking of the truck driver, he said, “I know it was an accident, but he didn’t just ruin two lives.”
He said Christiansen was beloved by her family, friends and employees at Red Lobster, where she was a general manager of several locations and had worked for 15 years. He said she would help anyone in need and had an amazing sense of humor.
“We had a connection like no other,” he said. “My heart is broken, the world has lost an angel.”