A 13-year-old Milaca girl is dead and her 16-year-old sister seriously injured following a collision between a minivan and semi west of Milaca on Highway 23 Tuesday morning.
Katrina Maetzold, 13 of Milaca, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 23 and 127th Avenue, immediately west of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Katrina was one of four Maetzold children involved in the crash. Patience Maetzold, age 16, was transported to St. Cloud Hospital with serious injuries.
Devon Maetzold, age 11, and Tristen Maetzold, the driver of the 2002 Dodge Caravan, were airlifted to North Memorial Hospital, however, their conditions were not released by 5 p.m. Tuesday. According to an accident report filed by the Minnesota State Patrol, none of the children were wearing seat belts.
Tristen Maetzold was southbound on 127th Avenue, just a short distance from the family home on 130th Avenue, when he pulled out onto Highway 23 to make a left turn. The minivan was hit broadside by a westbound 1995 Freightliner tractor and trailer driven by Thomas M. Dietz, age 51 of Milaca. Dietz sustained no injuries as a result of the crash, the State Patrol stated. Sources said the Maetzold children were on their way to school, located about a mile east of the crash scene on Highway 23.
The Dietz semi sustained severe damage and was towed from the scene by Andy’s Towing of St. Cloud. The Maetzold van also sustained severe damage and was towed from the scene by Johnson’s Towing of Milaca.
The crash touched the lives of the Maetzold children’s fellow classmates in both the Milaca Elementary School and Milaca High School buildings.
Counselors and therapists were brought in Tuesday, and were scheduled to return Wednesday to help students copr with the tragedy, said Milaca High School Principal Damian Patnode. The counselors were from Lighthouse Child & Family Services and the Riverwood Center of Milaca. A social worker from Mille Lacs County was also at the schools, as were area clergy, who provided extra support, Patnode said.