July 12, 2018 10:19 AM
Police say a mother and daughter from Shoreview were killed Monday when a 600-to-800-pound boulder fell off a truck in front of them and on to the vehicle in which they were traveling in Rosemount.
Rosemount police said 67-year-old Karen Jean Christiansen and her daughter Jena Helene Christiansen, 32, died in the crash, which occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Rich Valley Boulevard.
In a release Wednesday night, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said the official cause of death for both was blunt force head trauma due to the crash.
A mother and daughter were killed when this boulder fell off a truck Monday in Rosemount. The boulder weights around 800 pounds. It went completely through the car. Police have ID the truck— but are now looking for the driver. @KSTP pic.twitter.com/D0AGk7PEhr— Eric Chaloux (@EChalouxKSTP) July 11, 2018
"We had a connection like no other… my heart is broken… the world has lost an angel," Jena's boyfriend Ryan Kilian wrote to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
Police say the family’s Toyota Avalon was headed north on Rich Valley when the landscaping truck came up over a railroad crossing, and the boulder rolled off the truck.
"If you tried to duplicate this millions of times — I don't think you'd be able to do that — I think it was a very unique situation," said Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott.
A business security camera captured the picture of the truck with the boulder on the back shortly before the accident, police said.
Investigators worked with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to enhance the video to try and identify the name of the company listed on the truck’s door.
By midday Wednesday, police were able to find the business, but are still trying to find the driver for questioning.
"I think you would have to know that it fell off the truck,” said Scott. "That's something we'll have to figure out in the course of our investigation, once we are able to talk to the driver to see what was going through their mind."
Jena Christiansen worked as a general manager for several Red Lobster restaurants in the area, her boyfriend said.
"She is the most amazing person I have ever met. She was so smart and beautiful. She made me the man I am today I would be nothing without her. She would do anything for anyone who needed help she loved her family so much. She had an amazing sense of humor I literally have spent hours just talking to her," Kilian wrote to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
Shortly before the accident, Karen met with former coworkers at Dakota County Technical College, according to a family friend.
“Karen was a sweetheart of a lady,” wrote a family friend to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
Frank Rajkowski & Eric Chaloux
Updated: July 12, 2018 10:19 AM
Created: July 11, 2018 03:21 PM
(Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company