WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 19, 2013, 09:46 PM

EMTs urge drivers to slow down and save lives

Red River Valley (WDAY-TV) - Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of the deadliest day on Minnesota roads. 8-people died.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Red River Valley (WDAY-TV) - Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of the deadliest day on Minnesota roads. 8-people died.

Four of those deaths came in from one accident near Alexandria. The 4 teenagers from the Twin Cities, were all NDSU freshman. Authorities say the driver of the car lost control on the slushy road, went thru the median and into oncoming traffic. It caused a 6 car pile-up. The students were car-pooling back to NDSU.

With the past few days bringing its own set of driving fatalities, area E-M-Ts are urging people to slow down, and think about the lives they've tried to save. Last year on Minnesota's roadways, nearly 400 people died in traffic related fatalities. Since then, the numbers continue to climb, with two more deaths Monday after an accident in white-out conditions near Barnesville.

Jon Yeske-Barnesville Ambulance Manager/Paramedic: "Miserable conditions out there, some of the worst conditions I've ever seen."

From blizzards to white outs, the last week has been busy for volunteer ambulance services.

Greg Kempel-Casselton Volunteer EMT: "When the pager goes off, you go and see where you're going, and you go, and help someone and then you go back to work"

Trecherous road conditions bring numerous accidents, some fatal.

Jon Yeske: "When you're out there it's kind of like just instinct. You're reacting."

Greg Kempel: "It's always tough because you don't know what you're going to come in to."

The Barnesville crew came to a severe crash Monday. Judith Reid and Sean Ray, of Minnetonka, both died while trying to get to Fargo for a funeral. Ray's son was seriously injured.

Jon Yeske: "For me personally, it doesn't really hit home until it's all over."

Greg Kempel: "Anytime there's an accident it's always sad because it's something that someone was expected to be somewhere and they're not going to be there."

This Wednesday marks a year since 4 NDSU freshman lost their lives in an accident near Alexandria. Eight people died that day, making February 20th the deadliest day on Minnesota roads last year.

Tracy Tjon-Moorhead: "life is too precious, you know"

Young lives serving as reminders for drivers still out there when the storm hits

Tracy Tjon: "My husband left first and we kind of talked about it, we have 3 young kids so obviously there safety comes first"

Tanner Sakrasmo-Moorhead: "I think people sometimes just lose focus of the fact that they're not being careful enough, they think it's not going to happen to them."

If it does, know there are volunteers working hard to bring you out alive.

"We just kind of go out there to help somebody. I have a wife and 3 kids and I want someone to help them."

More bad weather is expected to hit later this week, so remember to slow down and drive to the conditions, so that your name, doesn't become a number.

Parents and friends of the four NDSU students who died are finding ways to make sure their memories live on.

People who knew Danielle Renninger, Jordan Playle, Megan Sample, and Lauren Peterson are working together with the NDSU student government. They're trying to organize events this spring to honor them.

The group is planning to plant 4 trees on campus each year. Those trees will have plaques with the girls names on them.