3 family members killed in Dakota County crash

- Nearly an entire Cannon Falls, Minn. family of four was killed in a terrible car crash on Monday in Dakota County.

A father, pregnant mother, and their 1-year-old daughter all died after their SUV collided with a semi-truck. The lone survivor is a 9-year-old boy.

While traveling northbound along Highway 56, Jason Calderara, 31, was driving a Kia Sportage as he moved into the southbound lane.

“Preliminary investigation shows so far that the Kia was passing another vehicle,” said Lt. Robert Zak, Minnesota State Patrol.

Jason's wife Elizabeth, who was pregnant, was also in the car along with the two children.

“The general rule is if you're in a hurry and you want to pass somebody chances are something is going to happen,” Zak said.

According to the incident report, after passing the other car, Jason cut back into the northbound lane at the last second when an oncoming semi-truck hit the brakes, jackknifed, and went into the northbound lane striking the driver’s side of the Kia.

“It's heartrending, it's heartrending,” Zak said.

By the time first responders arrived, Jason and Melody had lost their lives. 9-year-old Nicolas is at Gillette Children's hospital in serious condition.

Facebook posts indicate Elizabeth lost her unborn baby. She was placed on life support after sustaining significant damage to her brain and spinal cord. The family made the difficult decision Tuesday afternoon to say goodbye.

“There’s a lot to look into yet on this crash,” Zak said.

The State Patrol is still working on crash reconstruction to learn who was at fault. Meanwhile, they want everyone to pay attention, slow down, and drive the speed limit.


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