OAKLAND, Calif. - The Piedmont community is in mourning. Community members said three members of a family of four were killed in a fatal crash in Minnesota over the weekend. Their teenage son was among the survivors.
The close-knit community of Piedmont is devastated. The victims were headed to a family cabin in the Midwest when they were killed.
At the steps of the St. John family home in Piedmont are flowers and this tribute poster with the faces of Jill, John and Claire. The title of the poster "In Loving Memory." Neighbors created it.
"They are so young, it’s just incredible I can’t believe it," said Chris Baker of Piedmont.
The St. Johns were in a Ford Expedition 11:30 p.m. in Le Sueur County Minnesota 60 miles southwest of Minneapolis when the expedition crashed with a pickup truck.
Four people in the expedition were killed including 54-year-old John St. John, who was driving.
His wife 56-year-old Jill, a nine-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. Community members said that 13-year-old is John and Jill’s daughter, Claire.
"When I found out I was definitely kind of in shock and disbelief because she was always so happy and energetic," said Samantha Cheng, Claire’s classmate.
Claire St. John attended Piedmont Middle School. Cheng said the soon-to-be eighth grader was friendly, a helper, known as Claire Bear.
"She loved her family very much and everything she did with her family," said Cheng.
Jill St. John was a marriage and family therapist in Lafayette. John St. John loved bike riding and his electric skateboard. Everyone said they were the nicest family.
Three people in the Expedition survived including a 41-year-old woman and two boys ages seven and 15.
Those who know the family said the 15 year old is the St. Johns’s son, a 10th grader at Piedmont High, now left without his parents and sister.
The 41-year-old pickup driver, and the three in the Expedition who survived, are in the hospital. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The sheriff's office does not believe alcohol played a role.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.