ALEXANDRIA, S.D. | A former Garner man was among four killed Thursday afternoon in a fiery head-on crash in eastern South Dakota.
Officials said Ryan Hrubes, 28, was the driver of a vehicle that was struck by a pickup traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90, 3 miles east of Alexandria.
Hrubes wife, 26-year-old Emily Hrubes, suffered serious but not life threatening injuries. The couple married in September and lived in Omaha.
Hrubes graduated from Garner-Hayfield High School and was a member of Iowa State University's National Agri-Marketing Association chapter. He was an account representative with Dow AgroSciences, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The couple was headed to Mount Rushmore with a prominent Omaha couple, Tyler Schenzel, 54, and his wife, Theresa Schenzel.
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The Schenzels founded the Hope Center for Kids, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping inner city teens. Tyler Schenzel was an associate pastor at Omaha's Waypoint Church.
The pickup truck, driven by 75-year-old David Wise, of Salem, South Dakota, was heading the wrong way in Interstate 90's westbound lanes and struck the Hrubes' vehicle head on about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Both vehicles burst into flames.
The afternoon crash brought traffic on the interstate to a standstill, and officers diverted traffic onto state Highway 38. Debris from the crash struck a westbound SUV, but its two occupants were not injured.
"We are saddened beyond belief by this news and our prayers are with their families and the families of the other couple involved Ryan and Emily Hrubes, as well as the driver of the other vehicle," a statement from the Hope Center for Kids said.
Tyler Schenzel previously worked at Calvary Chapel West Omaha, where he and his wife met the Hrubeses. Tyler presided at their wedding in Crater Lake, Oregon.