Freedom Valu CEO Dies

HUDSON, Wis. -- David B. Erickson, CEO of the 60-unit Freedom Valu Center gas station and convenience store chain, died Wednesday in a motorcycle crash in Montana, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, citing a company release.

The motorcycle drifted off the right side of the road and over an embankment north of the Bridger Bowl ski area, Montana Highway Patrol said in published reports. Erickson's wife, Debi, also was on the motorcycle at the time, and was treated for minor injuries, according to the statement cited by the paper. Both were wearing helmets, and alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash, police told the newspaper.

The Freedom Valu chain of convenience stores is a family-owned company with locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Michigan, according to the report. David's father, Claire Erickson, and grandfather, Herman Erickson, bought the family's first gas station in Red Wing, Minn., in 1950.

In March 2009, David Erickson's parents, Claire and Betty Lou, were found shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide in their Hudson home, the report stated.

David Erickson said at the time that his father hadn't been feeling well and worried his wife would have to live in a nursing home if anything happened to him. Betty was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but it had not progressed to being severe.

"We still can't quite comprehend or believe it," said David Erickson of his parents' deaths. "But we'll get through it. Our family's pretty strong."

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds