A fluorescent red cross stood Monday as a reminder of a Milaca woman who celebrated her 20th birthday just four months ago.
On Friday, June 17, friends and relatives will be celebrating the life of that same woman.
Shanna Dahlen died in the early hours of Friday, June 10, when her vehicle crossed into the path of an oncoming semitrailer. Dahlen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Beside the bright red cross is a second cross constructed of rustic lumber bearing the words “RIP Shanna” and “We Love U” next to two hand-drawn green hearts. Bright balloons and flowers were also at the scene.
“She would have loved the bright colors,” stated a post on a memorial Facebook page.
Dahlen is being remembered as someone with a big smile and a warm heart. People enjoyed being around her infectious personality.
She loved sitting by the campfires and would sit there until they would go out, one Facebook post stated. She had a beautiful spirit and touched many people’s hearts, posters stated.
Dahlen loved being around her family and spending time with them. Most of her spare time she spent with her sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, according to her obituary.
Dahlen attended Milaca Schools and graduated from Minnesota Virtual Academy at K12. She went on to study at St. Cloud State, according to her Facebook page. She worked at the AmericInn Hotel in St. Cloud for the past year.
She is survived by her parents, Christine and Dennis Jenson and Dan and Karen Dahlen, as well as siblings Dwayne (Tessa) Jenson, Sheila Dahlen, Jeremy Dahlen, Andrea Dahlen, Michael (Rachel) Bueckers and Brandon Bueckers.
The crash was reported at about 3:30 a.m. on Highway 23 about a mile east of Foreston.
Dahlen was driving a 2007 Toyota Corolla that collided head-on with a 2007 Volvo 18-wheeled truck driven William R. Jones, 61, of Ogilvie. Jones sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was not transported to an area hospital by ambulance. Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and air bags in Dahlen’s vehicle successfully deployed.
The State Patrol shut down Highway 23 and rerouted traffic for more than five hours to investigate and recreate the crash as well as clean up the scene. The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, and the Milaca Fire Department assisted at the scene.
Man falls from vehicle on Highway 95, is airlifted
A 23-year-old male was airlifted from an accident scene east of the roundabout on Highway 95 in Princeton after he fell from a moving vehicle on Friday, June 10.
The driver of the Hyundai Sonata told authorities that the back passenger door became ajar. Because the door handle was faulty and didn’t open from the inside, the passenger opened the front passenger door and reached back in an attempt to fully close the back passenger door. The passenger fell from the vehicle, which was moving at about 60 mph, the driver stated.
The passenger fell out of the car, onto Highway 95, and into a ditch. He was airlifted from the scene.
Princeton Police, Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department, and Princeton Fire & Rescue were on the scene.
Five injured in county crash
Five people were injured in a one-vehicle rollover Friday, June 10, on Highway 27 near Isle.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash occurred at 5:25 p.m. A 2005 Chevrolet Aveo, driven by Corina F. Moose, 46, of Isle, was traveling westbound on the highway when the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Moose overcorrected, causing the vehicle to enter the left side ditch, roll and hit a tree.
Also in the vehicle were Jordan J. Moose, 26, and Jeremy M. Schaaf, 36, also of Isle, as well as Dyson J. Morrison, 10, and Lamya R. Morrison, 9. All five were transported to Mille Lacs Health System hospital in Onamia with non-life-threatening injuries.
No one in the vehicle but Lamya Morrison was wearing a seat belt, according to the state patrol.
Girl killed along Mille Lacs Lake
A 10-year-old Lake Park girl died Friday, June 10, in a hit-and-run crash along the north shore of Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin County.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Caylin Donovan was hit just before 8 p.m. while walking on Highway 18 near Mille Lacs Lake. Investigators stated they wanted to talk to the driver of a white Ford pickup pulling a white fifth-wheel camper with black trim who was in the area and might have witnessed the crash.