Shoreview mother, daughter killed after boulder falls from truck

Joseph Paul Czeck

A half-ton boulder that fell off a commercial truck in Rosemount July 9 killed a mother and daughter from Shoreview when it landed on their car.

Karen Christiansen, 67, and Jena Christiansen, 32, were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Joseph Paul Czeck, 33, was allegedly driving the truck. The Hastings man was charged in Dakota County with four counts of vehicular homicide July 13. 

According to a Rosemount Police Department report, police responded to a car crash shortly before 5 p.m. on July 9 near the intersection of Rich Valley Road and 125th Street.

Cobbling together surveillance footage from nearby businesses, Rosemount PD was able to determine a narrative of what happened.

Czeck, owner of Czeck Services, was driving a commercial truck loaded with unsecured boulders southbound on Rich Valley Boulevard, says the report. 

As Czeck crossed railroad tracks, a boulder flew out of the truck and bounced across the centerline of the road into oncoming, northbound traffic. The 1,100-pound boulder crashed onto the windshield of the car that was being driven by Karen. Both she and Jena died at the scene. 

A witness says they saw Czeck stop in a driveway about a mile down the road from the crash to allegedly strap a boulder down on his truck. Surveillance video from before the crash “appears to show the truck carrying unstrapped boulders,” says the report. 

After monitoring multiple addresses, Rosemount police executed a search warrant at an Inver Grove Heights home July 11, where they found Czeck. He refused to provide police a statment. 

Czeck’s first court appearance was July 13. His next court appearance is set for Oct. 4 starting at 9 a.m. in Hastings. 


— Solomon Gustavo

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