Teens hit in St. Francis crash remain in hospital, community calls for safer intersection

Two teenagers are recovering after they were hit by a vehicle in St. Francis Tuesday night.

According to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, Annie LaMotte and Kaia Bollman, both 14, were crossing Highway 47 at Pedersen Drive NW around 6 p.m. when they were hit. LaMotte has been upgraded to stable condition, while Bollman is still in critical condition.    

The crosswalk bridges St. Francis Middle School and a shopping center. It crosses four lanes of traffic where the speed limit is 50 miles per hour.

“People fly down this road,” said Kelly Moos, a concerned parent. “It’s just sad because people have spoken up and we don’t get anywhere with anything. We’re not being heard.”

Within the last five years, flashing pedestrian crossing lights have been added to the intersection, but many in the community say much more needs to be done.

“We’re on pins and needles every day watching the kids cross because we never know what’s going to happen in that intersection,” said Chris Williamson, who works near the busy intersection.

An online petition asking MnDOT to improve safety at the intersection has gained nearly 7,000 signatures in only one day.

Authorities identified the driver as a 62-year-old Isanti man. Officials said impairment, speeding nor distraction were believed to be factors in the crash and charges were not expected. The investigation is ongoing.

According to MNDot, from 2008 to 2018 there have been 16 accidents in the intersection.