Mother, Daughter Killed by Boulder that Fell off Truck

Updated: July 12, 2018 10:27 AM

Note: The video above aired Wednesday night before police reported that an arrest had been made.

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Authorities say the alleged driver of a truck that had a 600-to-800-pound boulder fall off and hit a vehicle, killing a mother and daughter, has been arrested. 

The Rosemount Police Department said Thursday that the 33-year-old man was arrested Wednesday. 

The crash occurred Monday afternoon on Rich Valley Boulevard. Rosemount police said 67-year-old Karen Jean Christiansen and her daughter Jena Helene Christiansen, 32, died in the crash

Police say the family's Toyota Avalon was headed north on Rich Valley Boulevard when the landscaping truck came up over a railroad crossing, and the boulder rolled off the truck.

Authorities said the driver was arrested in Inver Grove Heights on Wednesday. He is being held in the Dakota County Jail and that charges are pending. 

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said the official cause of death for both victims was blunt force head trauma due to the crash.

"We had a connection like no other... my heart is broken... the world has lost an angel," Jena's boyfriend Ryan Kilian wrote to KSTP-TV.

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.

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 KSTP-TV.

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 KSTP-TV.



Copyright 2018 KSTP-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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