Family: EMT Killed in Ambulance Crash was Prospective Med Student

October 10, 2017 08:49 PM

Nancy DeSteno somberly opened the door to her house. 

Her niece, 24-year-old Marina DeSteno Challeen, died Monday night when the ambulance she was riding in on a return trip from Monticello struck a stalled semitrailer in the north metro.

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Nancy DeSteno said she had heard about the accident at Interstate 694/Interstate 94 and Shingle Creek Parkway and seen something about it on the internet.

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

"I knew she drove an ambulance for HealthEast as an EMT, and she was in Monticello earlier in the day," she said.

Marina DeSteno Challeen had earlier sent her family a photo and remarked about how beautiful Monticello was this time of year.

Three hours later, Nancy DeSteno says, state troopers broke the devastating news to DeSteno Challeen's parents at their home in Stillwater.

"(Marina) was very much a people person who loved exploring and going to new places," she said.

RELATED: EMT Killed in Crash at Busy North Metro Interchange

Nancy said DeSteno Challeen grew up in Stillwater with her older sister Miranda. She went to Stillwater High School before going to the University of Minnesota to study anthropology. But her ultimate goal was medical school and eventually to work for Doctors Without Borders.

Nancy DeSteno said she's not quite sure how the family moves on from this tragedy.

"We have to be there for each other," she said. "We all have to cling to one another, hang on to each other."

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Todd Wilson

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