WEST LAKELAND TOWNSHIP, Minn. (KMSP) - Minnesota State Patrol believes distracted driving may have caused a crash that left a 22-year-old Hudson, Wis. woman dead and another person injured on Highway 95 near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border Monday night.
Drew Fleming, 20, was driving north on Highway 95 at 22nd Street when he crossed the lanes of traffic and went into the southbound ditch. His Saab 9-3 Aero hit an embankment, causing it to go airborne into a Ford Fusion that was sitting stationary at the intersection of Highway 95 and 22nd Street.
The driver of the Ford Fusion, Megan Goeltz, was killed in the crash. The other driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Preliminary evidence suggests Fleming, the driver of the Saab, may have been distracted while driving, the State Patrol says.
"This is just a very tragic reminder of how quickly lives can be ended on our roads. just by terrible decisions by other people behind the wheel," Col. Matt Langer said.
The Department of Public Safety says the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads is going up, as is the number of fatalities due to distracted driving. There have 50 deaths in the state so far in 2016, compared to 31 at this time last year.
According to research released last week by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 87 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in at least one “risky behavior” while driving in the past month.
Drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds can double their risk of being in a crash, AAA reported.
DPS says one in four crashes are due to distracted driving and all of them are preventable.
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