1 Killed, 2 Others Involved in Crash at Busy North Metro Interchange Identified

October 10, 2017 04:40 PM

The drivers of a semitrailer and ambulance, as well as an ambulance passenger, involved in a fatal crash Monday near a north metro interchange have been identified.

The crash, which killed 24-year-old St. Paul EMT Marina DeSteno Challeen, happened just after 7 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 694/Interstate 94 near the north metro interchange at Shingle Creek Parkway.


RELATED: Paramedic Killed in Crash at Busy North Metro Interchange

The crash involved a Swift semi and a HealthEast ambulance, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Authorities said the semi had stalled along the side of the interstate as a result of mechanical issues. Roughly 15 minutes after the semi stopped, it was struck by the ambulance attempting to merge onto I-94, according to the state patrol.

Authorities said the ambulance was not carrying any patients at the time of the crash.

The state patrol reports the semi's driver, 44-year-old Paulette Alicia Mejia, of Temple, Georgia, was not injured in the crash. The ambulance's driver, 27-year-old Susanna Grace Kelly, suffered injuries that were not life threatening.

DeSteno Challeen died at the scene.

"It is unclear at this time," Sara DuPaul, with the state patrol, said Monday night about the cause of the crash. "Further investigation does need to be done. We do have a crash reconstructionist on scene as well as two commercial motor vehicle inspectors. Again, this is a lengthy investigation and will take time."

A HealthEast spokesperson issued this statement Tuesday:

Last evening, there was a tragic motor vehicle collision that involved one of our HealthEast ambulances. We lost a valued member of our HealthEast Medical Transportation Team. As we work with law enforcement to understand what happened, we ask for thoughts and prayers for our colleague, grieving family and friends and our team. The families involved are asking for privacy during this time.

-This story has been updated to correct the deceased's name from the way it appeared in initial incident reports.


Rebecca Omastiak

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