Family mourns loss after wrong-way driver crash in Duluth

A Duluth family has started to heal after the loss of a young woman and her two-year-old daughter. 

Duanda Robinson, 26, was driving home early Sunday morning with her friend, Arriana Norling, and two children in the backseat. She had no idea that she was on the same path as a suspected drunk driver who was headed the wrong way on the interstate. 

“I was looking down at my phone while she was driving and then I looked up and I was like, are those headlights?” Norling said. 

Norling, of Minneapolis, and her three-month-old son were passengers in the car struck head-on by a wrong-way driver. 

“He was coming so fast that we didn’t have time to react,” Norling said. 

Robinson was killed instantly. Her daughter Damiah also died in the crash. 

“I’m glad that me and my son made it, but it’s just really hard because I just wonder why,” Norling said. 

Aaron Dame, 23, the alleged drunk driver who caused the crash also died. The female passenger riding with him remains hospitalized. 

“We’re dealing with a senseless loss of life,” said Sylvia Hayes, Robinson’s grandmother. 

Robinson was a mother of three. She worked in Duluth as a nursing assistant. 

“You can’t replace her, but we’re grateful that we had her when we did,” her grandmother said. 

Robinson’s family is heartbroken, but they have also found strength in their loss. 

“I encourage everyone… don’t try to place blame,” Hayes said. “If anything be an advocate. Be an advocate against drunk drivers. I think that’s our power.” 

Norling fractured several ribs and her son suffered a brain injury in the crash. 

Robinson’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.