Two killed in 12th Street crash (UPDATED)

Both people in a Toyota Corolla died Tuesday morning after the car was struck by a car driving southbound on 12th Street SW in Forest Lake. (Photo by Clint Riese)

Two-car wreck took place Tuesday morning


Clint Riese
News Editor

The first fatal vehicle accident in years to occur on a Forest Lake city roadway claimed two lives Tuesday morning.

The two-car crash took place just before 9:30 a.m. on 12th Street SW.

A southbound, red 2003 Pontiac Grand Am GT t-boned the driver’s side of a blue 1989 Toyota Corolla that was pulling out of the main exit of Walmart.

A witness driving behind the Pontiac said that vehicle driving erratically, according to Forest Lake Police Department Capt. Greg Weiss.

“Speed is a factor,” Weiss said.

The impact of the collision flung the Corolla from the westernmost lane across the other three lanes and into the parking lot of the plaza on the east side of the busy street.

Those in the Corolla – driver David W. Rosenlund, 36, of Farmington, and passenger Michelle Dawn Jones, 53, who recently moved to Forest Lake   – were both pronounced dead at the scene, Weiss said. The female was extricated from the vehicle by the Forest Lake Fire Department before being pronounced dead.

The driver of the Pontiac – Kevin E. Karsky, 21, of Wyoming – did not require medical attention. He was the lone occupant in the vehicle.

He was taken to a hospital to have a blood sample taken and was then to be released.

The incident is under investigation by FLPD and a reconstruction team from the State Patrol.

Between the accident reconstruction and the blood testing, it could take at least 30 days to determine if charges will be filed.

It is unknown whether those involved were wearing seatbelts.

  • bewildered mom

    How about putting in some traffic signal lights there…left turn lanes/right turn lanes?? ? Or would that impose on the city’s plan to purchase the Northtown Mall area? Oh ya, nicer offices instead of safety of citizens on one of the busiest streets in Forest Lake, but hey you build your New tax paid for building out there on 61 and forget the signals, left and right turn lanes…. enjoy your building out there on 61. While the regular folk risk their lives everytime going to and from Walmart and Rainbow.

    • Get Over it

      Honestly! Take the death of two people and turn into your soup box for the northland mall! Shame on you! I am guessing that you were one of the people at the meeting insulting the firefighters and police officers also. Thank god that we have them to take of this aftermath!

      This problem was not because of traffice lights. This was because of the person that hit them! Lights or not…. The accountability is on that person!

      May they rest in peace

      • kayla

        i agree with you! david was my cousin may he rest in peace!

  • steve white

    Grab a clue, bewildered mom. First, let’s have some compassion for those involved, and their families. A tragic accident indeed, and our thoughts go out to the families of those killed. But to tie this in with the City’s proposal for a new building is one of the most insensitive comments I can imagine. It’s one thing to lobby for safe roads and traffic conditions, but to align this with a new city hall is illogical, arrogant and simply not true.

    • Cory Nesseth

      Agreed! Couldn’t have said it better!

      Rest in peace to the poor souls that were lost.

  • FL citizen

    I really hope this opens up some eyes. I never use that exit/entrance because it is so incrediably dangerous. I will always go to the stop lights, even if it takes longer because I have to back track and wait for a green light. It’s time to close that exit/entrance or add some form of traffic lights or stop signs. This is ridiculous. My heart goes out to the victims families, may you find some shred of comfort in the memories of your loved ones.

    • patricia axling

      I agree, the Walmart main entrance/exit is so dangerous, I never use it. How many people have been T boned there? My sisters neighbor was killed there along with her dog about 8 years ago. I know there has been more. My thoughts are with the people who lost their loved ones at that death trap. Close it off!!

  • so sad

    I was in the area and was in the parking lot shortly after it happened. This is so sad and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the people in the blue car. No matter the issues with the signage, the guy in the red car must have been driving very fast. The poor blue car was thrown far and had serious damage. We need to be so careful out on the roads, paying attention to other drivers who think they are the most important person on the road:(

  • Rainbow employee

    I was working when the accident happened. Very sad and my heart goes out to the families of the two victims. That intersection is bad and averages like 1 cash a month. Never to this degree. Come Jan that intersection will be a little less busy when Rainbow Foods goes out of buisness. Just remember how precious life is. It could have been any one of us crossing that street today. Take life day by day and don’t sweat the small stuff. Tell your family that you love them as you never know your last day here on earth. God Bless!!!!

    • Sondra

      Thank you Rainbow employee from a family member of one of the deceased. God Bless you and your family as well!!!

  • Paul

    All of those business exits on that end are just accidents waiting to happen. It really is too bad for something like this to happen to open the publics eyes on how bad it really is. In a way I can see what “bewildered mom” is saying on how the city council has more concern about the proposed marina, the way Broadway looks, Northland Mall, etc., but I really hope the families and friends of the deceased can find some comfort from this tragedy. Prayers go out to them.

  • Brad h

    The only accident in my life happened in the same spot. 12Th st needs to be redone a lil or something.

    • Barb

      Yup! About 16 years ago-I remember because my youngest daughter was expecting the next month & we both were there after it happened.

  • Barb

    Use your common sense people. Go to the south end of Walmarts’ parking lot-turn left & go to the signal lights. Best way to make it safely to where you are going-you don’t have to 2nd guess how fast the N or S traffic are travelling so you can make it across. The best thing they can do is close that entrance/exit as well as the one across the street. Let people go around like we have to do on Broadway now. So sorry for the people who lost their loved ones today. may God help you at this time of sorrow & loss.

    • Joe

      That is a great suggestion, but don’t try mixing government and logic, it does not add up. I am sure Walmart would say closing that entrance would hurt their business, and we would not want that. They still have Cub to put out of business!

  • Deb O.

    I always go out of the end of the parking lot to the lights also. That is a very dangerous area to pull out and try to cross turning left. So sorry to hear about the loss of life. God bless the families of those killed.

    • tom michael murphy

      me too.

  • Eric H.

    I drove by very shortly after the accident. That speed limit is lime 30 through that area. I looks like the grand am was traveling 3 times that speed with how bad the corolla looked. Very scary.

  • Forest Lake Resident

    I was there today when the accident happened. I watched all day through my office window, which was yards away from the accident. As a person who sits in front of this intersection everyday, I can honestly say…something needs to be done. Accidents happen on a regular basis at this intersection. I’ve always been told that the “main Walmart entrance/exit” was never suppose to stay there. It was always the intention for the main enterance to be on the south side. What happened to this plan, I don’t know. I assumed when Walmart invest thousands last summer with a wider enterance and new landscaping that the plan was long gone. Which worried me, because it was only a matter of time before lives would be lost. It needs to be addressed. I watched two people loose their lives today, right outside my office window. People devastated by loss. To the people who helped, the citizens, police, firefighters … Everyone I thank you and pray for peace for all involved. To those of you bringing up local politics and funding for a new police station… Boo on you. If you saw what the officers did today, the quick response, the tender care and how they supported eachother and the witnesses you might think they’ve earned it…or maybe not. I’m pretty sure it’s not the officers fault that the original plan for the entrance was never followed through with. I doubt that the police officer and firefighters there today where not worried about how this accident would impede on their new offices.

    • patricia axling

      I don’t believe it is productive to blame innocent people. Walmart needs to make this problem go away. I shop there at least 4 times a week. If you go to the lights, you may sit there for 3 or more changes, if you need to turn left. People coming from those lights, to the lights on broadway, are always speeding. People coming off broadway going to Walmart, Target etc. speed. I don’t understand how they feel it’s safe to drive 40 or more in such a congested area? How do they even get up to such a speed coming off broadway? I come out of Arby’s from Walmart, it gives me more space from the lights. Walmart can afford to fix the problem. I would like to thank our local Police Department and Firefighters. They are very busy and have a quick response time. Thank You, Police Officers and Firefighters.
      Sincerely, From a Wife, Mom, Grandmother in Forest Lake

      • forestlakeallum94

        you said it best, Walmart can afford to pay attention to this issue, so can the city of Forest Lake~ they should. Peace and love to the families as the holidays approach and they are missing someone important. God Bless.

  • Chris N.

    Money talks and Walmart will never allow their foothold/entrance-exit on 12th street to be closed. If they closed that entrance-exit, Target would then get more business because people would view their placement on 12th as more convienent than a Walmart entrance on 3rd.

    What I would like to see is that it become a southbound entrance to Walmart with permanent landscaping that would preventPeople from crossing from the Rainbow lot or northbound left turns and absolutly no exiting from Walmart except to the south or north.

    • http://Patty patricia axling

      Walmart people don’t go to Target, unless they need a special item. Just Saying!

  • Walmart Worker

    I was working when it happened and truly, I am saddened by all this. I think of the children that this couple may have or family members and friends who have heard all that has happened and cannot imagine what they are going through right now. My heart and my thoughts go out to them. My thanks go out to the police and the firefighters for their work today. As for blaming Walmart for the entrance, I would say to take this issue up with the store manager and truthfully, it is an accident waiting to happen at that entrance. Even I refuse to take it. However, make sure to remember the idiot who decided it was ok to play frogger with his car going 3 times as fast on a street with a speed limit of 35. I’m pretty sure he’s getting his just desserts, if not now, definitely later.

    For now though, think of the couple and their family. They are what truly matter right now.

    • Nikki G.

      Thank you so much. My mom was the passenger in the Toyota corolla. My three brothers and I just had our hearts crushed and truly don’t even know where to begin with being left to cope with the loss of our mom and plan her funeral etc. We really appreciate everyones kind words in this matter. The pain we are feeling is truly indescribable and our lives without our mom will never be the same. For now we just need to find a way to cope with the pain. Thanks

      • Jennym

        Nikki, I am so sorry for your loss. I was the witness that was behind the Grand Am when it hit your mother’s car. It was an accident that could have deffinately been prevented and should have never happened. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers non stop. May they rest in peace.

      • Ralph

        If you need my help in any way, call me! You know how to get in touch with me.

      • kayla

        my cousin was the passenger :(

        • kayla

          i mean he was the driver :(

      • Lisa

        Nikki, I just found out today. Words can’t express how very sorry I am for your loss. You, your brothers, Jake…you are all in our prayers. We love you, hon.

      • Chris Gibson

        Nikki, if there is anything Rick and I can do please let us know. Chris

      • MEME


  • Praying…

    This intersection is awful, like many of the commentors I, too go to the stop light. I HATE that intersection. This could have been my child and I or my husband and I. This does need a stop light or stop sign at the very least. If this isn’t the time to talk about that, when is? The next fatality? Yes, police do so much good for our community, however, when our community is at risk in the city, and there is a solution, that HAS to come first. And, if the police are the stand up people they should be, they would agree. They don’t need a new building to do their jobs, the community needs the city to do what it can to prevent these type of accidents. The project that took 4 years to complete looks great and also solved some of the other grid-lock and un-safe intersections. Please, FOREST LAKE CITY, if this can be avoided for a mere stop light, get it done. With all that said, my prayers and deepest heart felt thoughts go out to these families affected by this horrible accident. Let this be a lesson for all of us, drive carefully and defensively. Do not drive erratically. Teach our teens the same. This doesn’t have to happen. What a sad sad day.

  • 12th Street Resident

    My heart and prayers go out to the families of the two young female and male that no longer have their lives because of some foolish, crazy driver. Please people, SLOW DOWN. I live along 12th Street and this street is busier than heck. The speed limit is 30 for a reason…because there are residents, shopping areas, etc along that street. I agree that entrance/exit needs traffic lights or needs to be closed. What I would like to know, where are the police officers, when cars are driving 40, 50 or even 60 down that street??? There are a lot of young kids in that area, walking the sidewalk at all times of the day. What ever happened to building a separate exit off the freeway, to come in from the back way (3rd Ave) to help reduce the amount of traffic on 12th street. Why does it always take fatal deaths to make a change…let’s get it done before things like this happen! 12th Street is one of the busiest streets in this town! People, think about the lives of others before you going speeding down a busy street.

    My thoughts and prayers are going out to the family of the couple, that have been taken away so quickly and so tragically!

  • tom michael murphy

    not to be insensitive but we have enough stop lights already, this guy was speeding – that was the problem. i’ve been driving for 42 yrs and drivers are the worst they’ve ever been, learn how to drive and be respectful of other drivers instead of trying to piss them off.

  • Dean H.

    Sad to hear about the couple that was killed in the accident.

    Everyone in FL says the same thing about that intersection, it is dangerous and something needs to be done about it. Especially from all the vehicles that exit the Walmart parking lot and try to take a left hand turn across 2 lanes to go northbound.

  • Tommy Gee

    Bewildered – it isn’t about new offices for the police/fire – it is more space for the equipment and training facilities for the staff. Plus provides for the addition of services. The fire station sits on a small road in the heart of FL’s Apartment & School District – you see these rigs make the turns they have to make to get in/out of the fire hall? If you go to towns/cities that have built new facilities, they aren’t in a residential area! Plus, what else do we do with the mall area? Let Winnick expand his junk pile? Let the building rot some more? The last few plans for the mall area have folded up like a cheap suit and no businesses are planning on building in that area any time soon.

    As for the accident, it is a tragedy and my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who lost their loved ones. It isn’t Wal-Mart’s fault, it is the City Planner that allowed a major corporation to put in such a large facility with the increased traffic without planning the traffic needs and how to control it. Stop lights are not the answer, as you have another light less than 1000ft to the south of the entrance and the traffic already gets bottled up at the Broadway end. And it is definately not a place for a “traffic circle”! Routing Wal-Mart traffic to 3rd St might be a better, more cost-effective solution.

  • Scott

    This horrific event has nothing to do with building a new police department. Please don’t associate this tragedy with a new city hall complex that would be funded completely out of a different fund than a stop light. Remember the victims.

  • Chris Yaritz

    I had driven by shortly after the accident,and was reminded how many close calls I have had myself at that exit/entrance. either close the entrance or place a median in the center so you would be forced to exit South from Walmart and North from Rainbow. yes it makes for a small inconvenience. but rather that then losing someone in a fatal crash.

  • Bob Piff

    That’s very sad. David, you are gone from this world and this is an example of how we never know when our time is going to be. Our prayers are with you, P and T.

  • Forest Lake Mom

    I was behind the driver on Broadway and chose to go Broadway to Lake rather than my normal route of 12th Street-call it chance or fate? I know of someone else that was t-boned at that same intersection with an infant in the car a few years ago. People- please slow down and be respectful of other drivers. Prayers to the families involved.

  • forest lake citizen

    It is very sad, I drove by there and saw one of the bodies lying on the ground! It was the saddest thong.ever!! :( hopefully this is an eye opener to put lights in there or something!!

  • Gary

    We never use that when we exit from Walmart we go down by Target and hit the light that is so much better than trying to pull out from that spot. We would only use that if it is very early in the morning or very late at night when there isn’t so much traffic. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims in the accident.

  • joan b

    to learn that an old friend died tragicly and left behind her chirldren because of an area that is without a doubt a dangerous spot . I can’t express the emotions felt over such a tradigy that, if looked at by the city and not taken seriously could have saved a wonderful person. Jojo

  • Lisa and Mark Wilkus

    This comment goes out to Nikki, my husband and I were the first people at the scene of the accident to do what ever was needed to help. My husband and I have a strong faith in God and I hope this gives you and your brothers some comfort in knowing that we stood by your Mom and prayed for her and also her family. I kept wondering if she was a mom and how many children she might have. We will continue to pray for you and your brothers that the Lord will give you strength and peace as you deal with your loss.

    • Resident

      What wonderful people you are! I hope it gives their family peace to know someone who cared stood by their mom.

  • Kathy Thomas

    I have just read all the comments posted on this tragic accident. The police say “speed was a factor” but lets not forget the Corolla that pulled out from Wal Mart. There has to be some ownership on his part. How could he not see the Pontiac coming south on 12th Ave.? If that c
    car waited just a few seconds longer for the Pontiac to pass two people may be alive tonight.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families.

    • anonymous

      The people who were killed were friends of mine and were not from Forest Lake, they had no idea this was a problem area.

  • anonymous

    I feel very sorry for the families who lost loved ones to this terrible accident. I work close by the accident and had customers ask me about it all day. The truth is, it was not entirely the red cars fault. You should always look and make sure you have plenty of room to pull out from that intersection. I am not saying its entirely either parties faults, but from my point of view they both displayed bad driving choices. I do not know anyone involved but I do pray for the families of ALL involved. The red car should not have been driving so fast but the blue car should have looked and made sure they had the time to make it. Don’t be so quick to put all the blame on one driver. That driver who walked away has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. And many people will remind him of it through out it.

  • Murphy’s of Forest Lake

    Dear Nikki and your three brothers, I am so sorry for your incredible loss. I can’t imagine the pain you are all going through. My family will keep you all in our prayers for strength.

  • Sherry

    We need to put blame where it deserves. The guy that was driving way beyond the posted speed limit. It is not the fault of the City of Forest Lake or Walmart. Minnesotans are the worse drivers. You put them behind the wheel of a deadly weapon and they think they are on Nascar raceway. Completely oblivous to those around them and only thinking about how fast they can get from point A to point B. We are a society that wants to place blame on anything other than where it belongs. We get fat and it is McDonalds fault not the person who continued to shove food down their throat. We get into an accident leaving an establishment and it is there fault and not the driver who was busy texting or driving erratically. Come on people open your eyes and make the driver who caused the accident take responsiblity for their stupidity. Yes it is a dangerous exit. FYI – I have also seen just as many people pull out of that exit directly in front of other cars who were not speeding. Walmart is not responsible for the idiocy of those who shop there.

  • Forest Lake Resident

    As I said above my office window faced this accident. We watched the entire thing. I understand that these victims pulled out in front of this speeding car. Haven’t you all ever heard people say, I didn’t even see it coming. However, if the kid inside the car wasn’t speeding at what I’m sure was a very high rate of speed, I doubt these victims would be dead. Injured maybe, but not dead. Their car was thrown off the street, up a small hill and into the parking lot. The car was crushed to half the size it was. If this kid would have been driving responsibly, there may have still been an accident, but probably not death, let alone two. Plus, from watching this kids reaction to the accident, and when he and his parents returned after the victims were removed. The mother cheering that the officers found something in her kids car…it was obvious they didn’t get the seriousness and permance of what has happen. He deserves whats coming to him. To all the family members who lossed loves ones I hope you can find peace in this terrible situation.

  • Nicole W

    I came upon the accident after it had happened. I was devestated with a sunken heart and tears. I sat and prayed with my 4 year old daughter as I watched Cpr being given and a life lost. I have struggled for the last few days, unable to remove the screen captures my brain has taken & the families from my mind. Wondering how the families are dealing/coping, Feeling like there is something more I could be doing. I pray for peace and strength for all of the families involved in this, and during the long road ahead. My heart goes out to you. May you find some extra strength on a day your not finding it to move one foot in front of the other- by knowing there are people praying and pulling for you and your family! <3

    I also do think this stretch of road is very busy and over populated, which makes it a bit more unsafe to begin with. I travel on it almost everyday. Accident prevention begins with safe alert driving, which starts with all of us. That said- using extra caution, I too have almost been hit pulling in/out of Holiday, Target & Walmart! Looking at the road situation and safer solutions for us all would be a win-win.

    RIP to the lives lost.

  • Praying for u

    I was there shortly after,what a terrifing thing to see brought me to tears…my prayers our with the familys,

  • Shanon

    I myself have been hit head on two times in that exact area. Both times I was hospitalized and both times my car was totaled. I agree that something needs to be done with that stretch of road!

  • WhodatwiddaPitts

    My wife and daughter were hit at that same intersection. Yes something should be changed to prevent needles loss of life and injuries to that intersection. I think a roundabout is more efficient and less costly then stop lights. I’ve been told that the simplicity of a roundabout would allow it to be but in place in days, vs. months as there isn’t all the infrastructure required for lights, power and control systems when a roundabout is installed.

  • FL Resident

    I agree with Tommy Gee, the city is to blame for allowing the expansion of this big box store without better planning for increased traffic.

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense could see that the increased traffic was going to be a HUGE problem and it was just a matter of time before a tragedy like this occured.

    But, alas, when it comes to big box stores, money talks & politicians listen!! So sad!

    My heart goes out the families of the victims. God Bless You!

  • kayla

    My cousin was the driver of the blue car David May he rest in peace you will be truly missed by everyone!!! :(

    • Chris Gibson

      Could you tell me when his visitation is. Thanks

  • Steve

    Tuesday was a very, very sad day. May God comfort all who have been affected by this tragedy. I do not live in Forest Lake but I do shop there. I hope every citizen of Forest Lake signs a petition for delivery to their city government demanding that something be done with the Rainbow/Walmart access area. The next accident might involve you or someone you know. Remember “for the people by the peope”.

  • just a reply

    My heart goes out to the families who’s lives were lost. Nikki, God can take our loved ones but the memories will never die. Stay strong, it’s a horrible thing.

  • Cari S.

    I met Michelle a few times over the past year, she was a wonderful person full of life and an animal lover. I just spoke with her this past September about rescuing dogs. My heart and prayers go to her daughter and three sons. Words are never enough at a time like this, she was a beautiful person, please know that you have all my condolences.
    My love, thoughts, and prayers to your family.

  • amber

    my ex boyfriend was the driver of the red car. i dont believe his entirely at fault considering that intersection i dangerous enough and people dont watch how they are driveing down that road in the first place. may the victims rest in peace. but dont blame everything on the driver of the red car.