Man charged in boulder crash that killed mother, daughter


The driver of a truck carrying a 1,100-pound boulder that flew off the back, hitting and killing a mother and daughter in another vehicle has been charged in their deaths.

According to authorities, 33-year-old Joe Czeck, of Hastings, Minnesota, was operating the commercial vehicle that killed the mother and her daughter.

Rosemount police said 67-year-old Karen Jean Christiansen and her daughter Jena Helene Christiansen, 32, died in the crash, which occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Rich Valley Boulevard.

Both women were pronounced dead at the scene, from blunt force trauma to their heads. There are large gouges in the pavement where you can still see where the rock came to a stop, but police are still investigating why the driver of the landscaping truck didn't stop.

On Wednesday night, the Rosemount Police Department took Czeck into custody, where he is being held pending charges.

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"My heart is broken", Jena Christiansen's boyfriend, Ryan Kilian, told ABC affiliate KSTP in Minneapolis.

Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott called the accident a "very unique situation". Authorities identified the vehicle as owned by Czeck and his company, Czeck Industries, arresting him in Inver Grove Heights on July 11.

"She is the most fantastic person I have ever met", Kilian said in a statement released Wednesday night, WCCO reported. Police say photos of his rock-laden truck led to the arrest. He's scheduled to appear in court on Friday. "Her father's life, my life, her brothers, she literally was a huge part of Red Lobster".

Shortly before the accident, Karen met with former coworkers at Dakota County Technical College, according to a family friend. She was the general manager of many locations.