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Rylee Nelson, Forum News Service, Published November 21 2013

Patrol says 1 of 5 kids trapped in Minnesota crash dies

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — The Minnesota State Patrol says one of five children rescued after being trapped in a submerged car for 45 minutes in this western Twin Cities suburb has died.

The patrol announced on its website that 5-year-old Zenavia C. Rennie of Brooklyn Center died Thursday.

St. Louis Park city spokesman Jamie Zwilling said the children were unconscious and unresponsive when pulled from the vehicle.

The four other children are Aliyana Rennie, 1, Zarihana Rennie, 6, Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, 7, and Amani Coleman-Guerrido, 5, all of Brooklyn Center. They were listed as having serious injuries on the patrol’s website Thursday afternoon.

Marion Guerrido, 23, of Brooklyn Center, was the driver of the 1998 Grand Am and suffered no apparent injuries, according to the patrol.

Zarihana and Zenavia are Guerrido’s stepchildren, and the others are her biological children.

The car went into the pond shortly after 6 a.m. at Minnesota Highway 7 and Minnesota Highway 100, the patrol reported. Road conditions were reportedly wet but not icy.

The car was westbound on Highway 7 and exited to go north on Highway 100 when it drove into the pond.

The car went 40 to 50 yards off the road before entering the holding pond, said St Louis Park city spokesman Jamie Zwilling.

State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said the initial call to emergency responders was received at 6:10 a.m. The first victim was pulled from the water at 6:35 a.m. and the last was pulled out at 6:55 a.m. The car sank in 9 feet of water and “rescue efforts (were) very difficult until water rescue personnel arrived,” Roeske said via Twitter. Roeske added that the water was very cold.

Joel Oine of St. Louis Park, a bystander, originally tried to rescue the children, Roeske said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the intersection was tentatively set to undergo construction in 2014. A document posted to the department’s website said the intersection had nearly double the crash and crash severity rates compared to the metro averages.

Bobbie Dahlke, the department’s public affairs representative, said the exit where the accident happened was not the part of the intersection to be reconstructed.