Winnipeg Jets prospect Dylan Samberg was one of six people injured Monday night in a chain-reaction crash involving three vehicles and a deer in Minnesota.
Although Samberg’s injuries were minor and didn’t require hospitalization, four of the victims are in life-threatening condition.
According to police, the incident began just after 5 p.m. when a Buick LaCrosse struck a deer on Hwy. 53 in Grand Lake Township, which is near Samberg’s residence in Hermantown. The two occupants, an 85-year-old woman and a 91-year-old man, stopped their vehicle on the shoulder, still partially in the right lane, and got out to inspect the damage.
Two pedestrians who were nearby, a 53-year-old woman and 21-year-old man, came over to check on them.
At that point, a 2018 Dodge Ram truck driven by Samberg and a 2020 Ford EcoSport driven by a 26-year-old man, which were both heading in the same northbound direction, struck the stopped vehicle in rapid succession, pushing it into the four people who were standing outside.
The elderly occupants of the Buick and the two Good Samaritans were rushed to hospital in nearby Duluth with multiple injuries. Samberg, 21, and the driver of the Ford were treated at the scene.
No charges have been laid. The investigation continues.
Samberg was drafted by the Jets in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2017 NHL draft. He has spent the past three seasons playing for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, while also representing the United States in the last two world junior championships. He turned pro last spring and signed a three-year entry level deal in April that will pay him US$925,000 per year if he’s in the NHL, and less if he’s assigned to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
Samberg is expected to compete for a full-time role with the Jets this upcoming season. He has been working out in Minnesota with Jets defenceman Neal Pionk, who is also from Hermantown.
This is the second straight year members of the Jets organization have been involved in a traffic accident. Forward Kristian Vesalainen and defenceman Sami Niku were injured on the first day of training camp in September 2019 after their vehicle was T-boned at an intersection while driving to Bell MTS Iceplex. Both missed several days of on-ice activity while they recovered.
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