When first responders arrived at the scene of a Highway 36 crash in Lake Elmo, they could not determine the make or model of the car crushed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Though Minnesota State Patrol officers must regularly deal with the aftermath of highway tragedies, the utter destruction and loss of life in this wreck spurred the head of the Minnesota State Patrol to make an impassioned plea for a renewed effort to combat distracted driving.
“Enough is enough," Col. Matt Langer said. "We see it too often, we see it too regularly."
The truck driver in the Lake Elmo crash was reportedly on his phone at the time his 18-wheeler slammed into a car driven by a professor at North Hennepin Community College.
The 54-year-old teacher was killed instantly in the violent collision.
The driver of the tractor trailer – a 28-year-old Independence, Wisconsin man — has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide.
Video captured by the truck's cameras show the last moments of the professor's life unfolding. Court documents state that the video shows the trucker gazing down at his phone for eight seconds. The truck driver told law enforcement officers that his 18-wheeler was traveling at 63 mph at the time of the crash.
“I have seen the video," Langer said. "It’s horrific and it is difficult to dispute what occurred."
According to WCCO, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says distracted drivers are in one out of every four motor vehicle accidents in the state. Distracted driving crashes result in an average of 65 deaths and 215 serious injuries per year.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident or in a crash with a distracted driver, you can pursue justice and compensation with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.