WILLMAR — The funeral service for three of the victims of the two-vehicle crash that killed six last Friday on Interstate 90 between Eyota and Rochester will be held Thursday in Willmar.
Esther L. Peters, 47, will be remembered, along with her two adult children, Shayla J. Peterson, 23, and Christopher M. Peterson, 26, all of Rochester, at a celebration of life service at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. Burial will take place at Fairview Cemetery. All three were formerly from the Willmar area.
The three died from injuries received in the crash, which was the deadliest vehicle crash on Minnesota roads since 2010. Also killed in the crash were Sheila Eagle, 54, Tamara Lynn Eagle, 29, and Noyobee Eagle Richardson, 11, all from Waukesha, Wisconsin, three generations of the same family.
A mother of three, Peters was described as a "strong and compassionate woman" who survived breast cancer.
"She will be remembered as a loving, caring mother and grandmother who loved her children and grandchildren more than anything," her obituary says.
Peters was born in Illinois and grew up in Duluth. She married William Peterson and the couple moved to Willmar, where their first two children – Natasha and Christopher Peterson were born, Peters' obituary said. Peters then moved to Hutchinson, where daughter Shayla Peterson was born. Peters later moved to Rochester. She is survived by her daughter Natasha, grandchildren and siblings.
Christopher Peterson lived in Grove City, where he attended ACGC before moving to Butterfield and attending Butterfield-Odin Public Schools. According to his obituary, he earned his GED and enrolled in the veterinary technician program at Ridgewater College in Willmar. He moved to Rochester where he was attending college for business management.
"He had such a kind and gentle soul and would never hurt anyone or anything," his obituary reads. "Chris was a strong individual who overcame many things in life, including Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (a rare heart condition)."
Shayla Peterson lived in Atwater, where she attended school there until the fifth grade. She then moved to Butterfield and attended school at Butterfield-Odin Public School, her obituary said.
"She had such a kind heart and bright personality that shined through to anyone that met her," her obituary says. "Shayla was a strong person who overcame many things in life, including life-long Type 1 Diabetes."
Christopher and Shayla Peterson are survived by their father, William Peterson, and many other family and friends.
Go Fund Me pages have been created for all the victims of the crash. The Peters-Peterson page can be found at: http://bit.ly/PetersPeterson
The Minnesota State Patrol continues to investigate the deadly crash that took place around 1:30 a.m. Aug. 2. According to the preliminary investigation, Sheila Eagle was driving a 2008 Ford Focus in the wrong direction on Interstate 90, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. The Focus then struck a 2005 Chrysler Sebring, driven by Christopher Peterson. One of the vehicles then caught fire, the patrol report said.
The State Patrol said Christopher Peterson was wearing a seatbelt. Shayla Peterson was not and it is unknown if Esther Peters was wearing a seatbelt. In the second vehicle, neither Sheila Eagle or Tamara Eagle were wearing a seatbelt and it is unknown if Noyobee Richardson was wearing a seatbelt.
The State Patrol will reconstruct the crash to determine direction of travel and the speed of each vehicle involved, the State Patrol report said. Assisting at the scene of the crash was the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and the Eyota Fire Department.