Updated: College students from Elk River, Rogers die in Alexandria crash

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified four college students who died in a head-on crash on Interstate 94 near Alexandria.

Among the victims were 19-year-old Jordan Playle, of Otsego and 18-year-old Megan Sample, of Rogers. Playle and Sample were 2011 graduates for Rogers High School.

“Jordan and Megan epitomized the best, not only as students, but more importantly as citizens of our community,” Rogers High School Principal Roman Pierskalla said in a statement issued this morning. “Their loss will be felt well beyond our school community, and our memories of Jordan and Megan will last a lifetime.”

The crash happened in the eastbound lanes near mile marker 97 just after 3 p.m. Monday.

Authorities say the four college students were in a car heading west when they crossed the median and collided head-on with an SUV traveling in the eastbound lane. That SUV was then hit from behind by a third vehicle.

In addition to Playle and Sample, the State Patrol also identified Lauren Peterson, 18, of Prior Lake and Danielle Renninger, of Excelsior.

All four victims were reportedly students at North Dakota State University, and were headed back to the school when the crash happened.

State Patrol Sergeant Sergeant Jesse Grabow said three other people were injured in the crash, which involved three vehicles, but they have since been released from local hospitals.

Radio station KFGO in Fargo says snow was reducing visibility on the interstate, and that the roadway was slippery at the time of the crash.

Grabow said weather will be a factor in the investigation, but they have yet to determine the exact cause of the crash.


The Minnesota State Patrol kept very busy throughout much of the state yesterday as snow and slush accumulated on the highways yesterday (Feb. 20) and through this morning.

State Troopers responded to a total of approximately 191 crashes.  Of those crashes, 44 resulted in injuries and two fatal crashes.

The two fatals claimed the lives of five people altogether.

The fatal that claimed a single life occurred at approximately 3:32 pm on Hwy 28 approximately two miles west of Glenwood.  One person was killed when they spun out on the highway and struck a semi.