Teenage driver watching 'Stranger Things' causes crash: sheriff's office

A teenage girl was watching "Stranger Things" on her phone while driving, causing a crash with a semi-truck in Anoka County over the weekend. 

That's according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, which used this incident as an example of what not to do while driving. 

"Distracted driving remains a major concern on the roads of Anoka County. Every day deputies encounter drivers who are on their cell phones, texting, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. On rare occasions, we see drivers who are attempting to watch movies or other videos while driving," the sheriff's office said. "This was the case over the weekend when deputies responded to a report of a serious crash involving a semi-truck and passenger vehicle in northern Anoka County."

The driver suffered from minor injuries but her vehicle was significantly damaged in the crash, the sheriff's office said. The teenager had crossed the centerline on a roadway, driving into the path of the semi-truck. The semi-truck driver swerved to the shoulder to try to avoid the crash, so the teenage driver crashed into the semi-truck's trailer and rolled over.

"The female driver denied being on her cell phone before the crash, but the investigating deputies observed that her vehicle’s Bluetooth system was still streaming the audio to ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix," the sheriff's office said. "When confronted with this information, the driver admitted to watching Netflix while driving."

The teenage driver was issued a citation and released, the sheriff's office said. 

Lt. Bill Jacobson of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office told FOX 9 the agency left out some details regarding the crash "because we want to get this important message out there without necessarily identifying this young driver and adding to her difficult week."

The sheriff's office said it is relieved this incident was not more serious, "as it easily could have been." 

From 2016-2020, more than 39,000 crashes in Minnesota were related to distracted driving, causing 155 deaths and nearly 1,000 injuries, the sheriff's office said.