- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a truck driver involved in a fiery crash that killed a young Minnesota couple and their three children in western Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Patrol said Monday the crash happened Sunday morning near Brule when the truck struck a van on westbound Interstate 80. Three more vehicles soon were involved.

The patrol hasn’t released the names of those killed, but relatives identified them to the Omaha World-Herald as Jamison and Kathryne Pals, both 29 and of St. Paul, and their three children, Ezra, Violet and Calvin, aged, 3, 1 and 2 months.

Karen Pals, a sister-in-law from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, said they were traveling to Littleton, Colorado, for a month as training as missionaries. They planned to move this fall to Japan, where they expected to remain for years.

“This was going to be a permanent thing,” Pals said. “They were very committed to their work.”

Jamison Pal’s father, Rick Pals of Hugo, Minnesota, said the couple would have been affiliated with Christ Bible Institute in Nagoya, Japan.

“Jamison and Kathryne … they had a heart for people,” Rick Pals said. “They loved what they were doing.”

Six people in the other vehicles were hospitalized.

The driver was arrested for suspicion of vehicular homicide. Court records don’t show whether he’s been formally charged.

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