Deadly stretch of Highway 12 claims 3 lives in 3 days

- After 2 crashes claimed 3 lives in just 3 days, the overwhelming message from people in the  west metro is something needs to be done about Highway 12. The demand for change is specifically aimed at a deadly stretch from Wayzata to Delano, most recently claiming the life of 25-year-old Chelsea Langhans.

Langhans was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 12 in Orono on Saturday, Aug. 22. An SUV driven by 69-year-old Arthur Henningsen of Wayzata crossed the center median of the two-lane highway and the two vehicles collided. Henningsen was also killed in the crash.

“She is the most positive person that I‘ve ever come across in my life,” Chelsea’s sister, Victoria Langhans, said at a Sunday night vigil on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. “She’s so inspirational in every way, and everything she does is for everyone else. She puts everyone else before herself, and her whole life was about paying everything forward."

Last Thursday, just a few miles west of the Orono accident scene, a 35-year-old man was killed when his car was rear-ended by a full-size motorhome going highway speed.

“MnDOT has been working well with us in order to make improvements not only in my section, but the entire corridor,” said Gary Kroells, West Hennepin Public Safety director. “Now is the time to find the funding to make the improvements. I’d like to see it tomorrow if I could.”

Highway 12 crash statistics

Minnesota Department of Transportation crash data for Highway 12 County Road 6 to the Hennepin-Wright county line. Information is for 2010-2014:

Total crashes: 229
Injury crashes: 72
Fatal crashes: 4
Serious injury crashes: 4
Non-serious injury crashes: 64
Property damage only crashes: 157

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