Driver charged for fatally hitting Wayzata officer on Hwy. 12

The driver who fatally hit a Wayzata, Minnesota police officer on Highway 12 has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

Officer William “Bill” Mathews was removing debris off the highway when he was struck by Beth Freeman, 54, of Mound. Emergency crews attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Officer Mathews had turned on the flashing emergency lights on his squad car to indicate that traffic should move over for him. A witness said Freeman did not swerve or make any movements to avoid hitting the officer.

Witnesses said Freeman got out of her vehicle after the crash and kept saying, “What have I done?” according to the charges. She reportedly had to be told to move her car off the victim because her front tire was still resting on him.

Investigators found evidence that Freeman was under the influence of controlled substances at the time of the crash, the charges said. Drug paraphernalia found in her car tested positive for cocaine, according to a search warrant. She also admitted to talking on the phone and receiving text messages before striking Mathews.

Freeman's license was canceled as inimical to public safety last October, meaning she was deemed too great a threat to the public to be driving.

Her criminal record includes infractions such as driving under the influence, aggravated driving, illegal passing and speeding. She is currently on probation for drug-related charges. 

She has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide one count of driving after her license was canceled. 

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