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2016 story: Police say Christiansen missed curve, drove into water

A Red Wing police officer and a Pierce County sheriff's deputy on Wednesday examined the strip of land between Highway 63 and the Mississippi River's back-channel boat launch area in the town of Trenton Island. It was later concluded that Marya Christiansen's van left the roadway and plunged into the water, where it was recovered on Wednesday. (RiverTown Multimedia photo by Mike Longaecker) 1 / 2
Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said Thursday that 23-year-old Marya Christiansen, who had been missing since Saturday, didn't follow a curve in Highway 63 heading north toward Hager City and drove through the grass, over riprock and into the water. She described the location as where the tow truck is positioned in this photo. (Red Wing Republican Eagle photo by John Russett)2 / 2

Editor's note: Two boys killed in a crash July 14, 2018 were the sons of Marya Christiansen, who died in 2016 when her car entered the Mississippi River near Hager City.

HAGER CITY -- Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said Thursday morning that 23-year-old Marya Christiansen missed a curve in the road and drove straight into the water, where she and her van were found submerged yesterday.

Christiansen was apparently heading northbound on Highway 63 from Red Wing to Hager City. Christiansen was last seen in Red Wing when she left a friend's home Saturday at 2:30 a.m. She and other friends had gone out Friday night in Red Wing. She was apparently heading home to her residence on County Road OO.

"As the corner (curve) came, she just kind of went straight," Hove said. "Through the grass, over the riprock into the water."

In the photo above, Hove said she drove into the water about where the tow truck is positioned. The case remains under investigation. No foul play is suspected.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Unit located the vehicle, which was submerged near the Trenton Island boat launch under what is known as the back channel bridge yesterday late afternoon.

Police confirmed last night a deceased female, identified as Christiansen, was found in the van.

To see more coverage of this story, click here.

To donate to Christiansen's funeral expenses via a Go Fund Me page, click here.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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