Authorities on Monday identified two people killed in a highway crash involving a semitrailer truck and a car in northwestern Wisconsin over the weekend, and one of them is a former University of Minnesota student who worked as an intern in the Star Tribune newsroom.
The two people who died Saturday afternoon in the collision east of Grantsburg were the car's driver, Micaela E. Schneider, 22, of Plover, Wis., and passenger Olivia Johnson, 22, according to the Burnett County Sheriff's Office.
Schneider was heading west on Hwy. 70, lost control of her car and crossed into the path of the eastbound semi, the Sheriff's Office said. Two people in the semi escaped serious injuries.
At the time of her death, Johnson was a news reporter for the News & Advance in Lynchburg, Va. Previously, she spent three years as a reporter and editor at the University of Minnesota Daily, and one semester each as a reporting intern for the Star Tribune's business section in the first half of 2018 and for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in late 2017.
News & Advance regional editor Caroline Glickman said Monday that Johnson joined the staff in August and covered various local news events in Lynchburg involving housing, education and other issues.
"Right from the start she impressed us with her intelligence, drive and personality," said Glickman, who was managing editor when she hired Johnson. "She was able to report stories as if she wasn't new to the content."
Said Thom Kupper, the Star Tribune's assistant managing editor/business: "This is unbelievably sad news for all of us who worked with Olivia during the months she spent with us. She was a curious person who wanted to work hard and learn as much as she could, all the traits that make for a great reporter."
Schneider was a classmate of Johnson's at the University of Minnesota. She had been hired in marketing at Warner Bros. in July, according to her LinkedIn page.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482