Two Teens Killed in Nashwauk Crash Remembered

Aiden Hall and Trent Salminen remembered by Northern Lights Community School

DULUTH, Minn.- A memorial with balloons, and wreckage are all that’s left of a fatal car crash in Nashwauk, which took place Saturday afternoon. The crash took the lives of two teenage passengers.

According to Minnesota State Patrol, a Honda Accord carrying 4 teenagers inside was traveling north on Highway 169 and tried turning left onto Highway 65 north.

It was then struck by a Chevy Cobra camper traveling south on 169.

“It was pretty much a dead spot in the day, so it was just a little bit before 3 o’clock,” said Anthony Ribich, a cashier at the Sinclair Gas Station right next to the crash site.

“Then I hear a slam,” Ribich said. “It sounded like the waste guys were picking up a dumpster and like dropped it or something. So it was just 1 big slam.”

“Then about a minute later a guy comes running in and says somebody’s been hit off the highway.”

Ribich called 9-11, and was in and out of the store with the phone, and to get water to responders. He periodically came back out to check on the crash.

The driver of the camper, Daniel Richard Alsaker, 61 and a passenger, Terry Marie Alsaker, 59 walked away with non life-threatening injuries.

The 17-year-old teen driving the Accord and a 15-year-old passenger also survived the crash, sustaining non life-threatening injuries.

According to Ribich, crews were fighting to save the lives of the other two teenagers.

“They were just getting the 4th person out in the backseat that got hit the hardest and it looked like he wasn’t responsive at all at first,” he said, “and then I had to run in the store again. ”

“And then when I came back the last kid was under a white sheet. So he didn’t make it.”

The crash took the lives of 16-year-old Aiden Patrick Hall, and 13-year-old Trent Salminen.

Both were students at Northern Lights Community School in Warba. Aimee Love, a social worker at Northern Lights, said she interacted with Hall and Salminen everyday.

“I would describe Trent as more on the quiet side, he was great, kind of a debator he would question things and then question even more,” said Love.  “He was always very polite and pleasant with any interaction I ever had with him.”

Meanwhile Hall had big plans for his future.

“Aiden, he was a bit more outgoing, he wanted to be a rapper. He had dreams of being involved with music. He was very passionate about his work.”

The two teens, Love said, leave behind a big hole in the school’s community. They are hoping to have a memorial in the Fall, and she is in the process of counseling the surviving teens and their families.

“I think I’m still at the point of shock, I think most of our kids are especially when they come back to school in the Fall. I think it’s going to be an expectation of: ‘where are they?'”

“To now be in a classroom and see that empty chair, it’s going to have an ongoing effect.”

A GoFundMe has been started for the family of Aiden Hall, it can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-aiden.

Categories: Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Public Safety, Road Construction/Traffic