WAUKESHA — A public memorial gathering was held Tuesday, Aug. 13 in honor of a Waukesha family killed while on their way to North Dakota.
The gathering was held at the Chapel of The Salvation Army Waukesha County for the Eagle family.
The wrong-way, head-on crash killed six people in southeastern Minnesota on Aug. 2.
A Ford Focus carrying the Eagle family from Waukesha was heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 when it collided with a westbound Chrysler Sebring at around 1:30 a.m., causing one of the cars to catch fire. All three people in each car were killed.
The three in Ford Focus were Sheila Eagle, 54, who was driving, Tamara Eagle, 29, and Nyobee Eagle Richardson, 11 — family members from Waukesha. FOX6 News learned Sheila Eagle was a nurse for nearly 20 years. Nyobee Eagle Richardson was Tamara Eagle’s daughter, and was about to start seventh grade at Horning Middle School. A GoFundMe.com account set up for the family said Nyobee Eagle Richardson wanted to be a doctor, and would have turned 12 in September.
The Eagle family was on their way to a funeral in South Dakota — passing through Minnesota in their Ford Focus.
The three people in the Sebring were Christopher Peterson, 26, and Ester Peters, 47, both of Rochester, Minnesota, and Shayla Peterson, 23, of Paynesville, Minnesota. Christopher Peterson was driving.
“We just lost three people in our lives that were very important to all of us — all at the same time,” Dawn Meyer, a close friend of the Peterson family, told Minnesota’s FOX9. “I don’t know what to call it. It’s unbelievable.”
At least three of the six victims were not wearing seat belts.
The highway was closed for hours while investigators reconstructed the crash to determine which car had been going the wrong way and how fast each was going. Authorities were also investigating whether the wrong-way driver was impaired.
It was the deadliest crash on Minnesota roads since 2010, when another crash took the lives of six people, the state patrol said.