Teens survive bad wreck on Highway 7 in Shorewood; call for safety changes

A dangerous stretch of Highway 7 is once again gaining attention after several Minnetonka High School students survived a bad Thanksgiving crash.

The crash occurred Thursday night on Highway 7 and Eureka Road in Shorewood, when passengers in the car traveling on Highway 7 say a car attempting to turn onto the thoroughfare pulled out in front of them.

"We were watching her and all of a sudden she floors it out of the blue," said Tucker Shawgo. "The driver luckily turned his wheel just a tad to not kill her but hit the front of her car."

Shawgo was one of five teenagers in the car when the crash occurred. He says they all feel lucky to be alive, as it’s a known dangerous stretch of road.

"They’ve seen so many accidents here and nothing has been done to correct it."

In June 2021, 20-year-old Parker Nelson was killed at the same intersection under similar circumstances. According to police, his motorcycle struck a car that turned onto the highway from Eureka Road.

"We don’t want to wait for another death in our community," said Shorewood Mayor Jennifer Labadie. "Accessing Highway 7 is inherently dangerous the way it is currently set up."

Last year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation launched a study of a 35-mile stretch of Highway 7 from St. Louis Park to Hollywood Township in Carver County to identify potential safety improvements.

MnDOT concluded that at Eureka Road, an enhanced pedestrian crossing was a "medium-term" solution and that the possibility of a roundabout could be considered long term. During a presentation at the Shorewood City Council meeting in August, MnDOT officials said implementing any these suggested upgrades would be dependent on funding.

"We simply can’t wait that long," said Labadie. "Saving another family from a tragedy can’t have a price tag put on it."

Now these teenagers hope by sharing their story, changes will come before there’s another fatality.

"We need to change something now before it gets worse and more people lose their lives," said Taylor McCormick.