Twin Cities freshman roommates die in trip back to NDSU

Nickalas Tabbert

 4 Twin Cities freshman roommates died Monday in a crash on Interstate 94 west of Alexandria.

The driver was identified by the State Patrol as Lauren J. Peterson, 18, of Prior Lake.  Also identified as dying in the crash were passengers Jordan N. Playle, 19, of Elk River, Megan R. Sample, of Rogers, and Danielle R. Renninger, 18, of Excelsior.

The North Dakota State University freshman were heading back to Fargo when their car crossed the median and into eastbound traffic.  The car collided with a large SUV, which was then struck by another car from behind.  No fatalities were reported in the eastbound vehicles, the Star Tribune said.

The article said all four were wearing their seatbelts and there was no indication that alcohol played a role in the crash.  There was no word on what may have caused the car to cross into oncoming traffic.

Playle and Sample both graduated from Rogers High School.  Playle was on the honor roll and took college-credit courses during her senior year at Anoka-Hennepin Technical College.  She was also a member of the girls tennis team.

Sample was involved in a marketing club and also was on the honor roll.  She was voted "Best at Life," akin to being the most likely to succeed, in the most recent yearbook.

Peterson graduated from Prior Lake High School.  School district spokeswoman Kristi Mussman said Peterson was "an excellent student, a cheerleader and a very popular girl."

Renninger, a 2011 graduate of Minnetonka High School and active dance member, was a business marketing major at NDSU.  Erik Sill, her business and marketing teacher at Minnetonka her senior year, said her peers loved to be around her and that she had a personality perfect for the career she had chosen.

Grief counselors were available at both schools to help students and staff cope with the loss of the students.