169 Crash Victim Identified as Recent U of M Graduate

September 07, 2017 06:34 PM

On Wednesday, a 22-year-old woman died in a six-vehicle crash on highway 169 in New Hope.

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified her as Katie Burkey, of Nowthen.


Authorities say she died when a semi rear-ended her car, pushing it into several other cars during evening rush hour traffic.

RELATED: 1 Dead, 4 Injured Following 6-Vehicle Crash on Hwy 169 along New Hope, Plymouth Border

Burkey's longtime boyfriend, Johnny Olson, says she was driving home from work.

"I just don't know how to feel right now," he said. "My girlfriend just passed away."

Burkey graduated from the University of Minnesota in May. The young couple was looking forward to their future together.

"That was the first morning that I did not say I love you or kiss her goodbye," Olson said. "I will never be able to do that again. I don't want anyone to feel the pain I feel right now."

RELATED: Northbound Highway 169 Reopens in New Hope

Robert Ranney, of Champlin, was one the drivers involved in the muliti-vehcile crash. He was transported to a local hospital and released on Thursday night. His wife, Bethany says he is in pain with minor injuries. She is thankful he is alive.

"He's in bad condition," she said. "He is really sad about everything that happened."

Ranney says her husband described the accident as horrific.

"He says he could see the semi-truck in his rearview mirror, but that is all he remembers before the impact."

The Minnesota State Patrol says charges could be pending for the truck driver, but the case is still under investigation.


Cleo Greene

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