Blooming Prairie, MN Three Car Collision, Feb 1997


Blooming Prairie, Minn. (AP) - An icy glaze covered Highway 30 when three cars collided during the weekend, killing five people, four of them members of one family.
The accident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday two miles west of Blooming Prairie in southeastern Minnesota.
Killed were LYLE WALLACE and his wife, REBECCA, both 40 and from Lake Mills. Also dead at the scene were WALLACE'S brother, ROBERT, 31, and ROBERT'S wife, KATHY, 30, both of Geneva, Minn.
Authorities said they were in a station wagon driven by LYLE WALLACE that hit an icy patch, skidded sideways and was broadsided by another vehicle, which was hit by a third vehicle.
DAVID STAFFON, 59, of Dodge Center, a passenger in the car that crashed into the WALLACE vehicle, also was killed.
Blooming Prairie Police Chief Paul Wayne grew up in Geneva and attended high school with the WALLACE brothers.
They were well-known in the town of 400 because a sister owned the local deli and was a member of the City Council, Wayne said.
"They are very active in the community," Wayne said. "They are a great family."
REBECCA WALLACE grew up in Blooming Prairie, where her father, Harvey Ille, ran a hardware store and now owns the John Deere dealership in Preston, according to a number of people who know the family, including Pastor Richard Hegal of First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie.
Wayne said ROBERT and KATHY WALLACE recently had bought a house in Geneva and were the parents of an infant. LYLE and REBECCA WALLACE had three children, Hegal said.

Leader-Telegram Eau Claire Wisconsin 1997-02-24