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Faribault Chief Says Pedestrian Crash Was “Preventable”

Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen says officers were dispatched this morning at 7:23 to a crash at 2nd Avenue NW and 8th Street NW involving a pedestrian.

A news release was issued by Chief Bohlen.

“Responding units found a 13-year-old female who was conscious but incoherent. She was transported to Allina – District One Hospital and later airlifted to a metro trauma center.

Initial investigation revealed the 13-year-old had been crossing 2nd Avenue NW at 8th Street NW, utilizing the crosswalk.

Several vehicles, both northbound and southbound, had stopped to allow her to cross. Witnesses stated a 1998 Lincoln Navigator, driven by a 54-year-old Faribault male, was northbound and had passed the stopped vehicles on the right side and struck the girl as she was in the crosswalk.

The driver was released from the scene pending the completion of the investigation. He is expected to be charged at a later date.

The Faribault Fire Department, North Ambulance, Rice County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol also responded to the crash. The Faribault Police Department is being assisted with reconstruction by the Minnesota State Patrol.”

Chief Bohlen says, “This tragic crash was completely preventable. Our thoughts are with the girl and her family as she recovers.”  “Drivers are reminded to slow down and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians”.

Remember it’s the law.  We talked about the Crosswalk Law on a AM Minnesota program recently when we were promoting White Cane Day observations by the State Academy for the Blind.

Below is the Minnesota Statute covering this topic.  Please read carefully.  I included some other subdivisions in the law to cover wheelchairs, etc…

169.21 – 2017 Minnesota Statutes

169.21 PEDESTRIAN.

Subdivision 1.Obey traffic-control signals.

Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals at intersections as heretofore declared in this chapter, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this section and section 169.22.

Subd. 2.Rights in absence of signal.

(a) Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. This provision shall not apply under the conditions as otherwise provided in this subdivision.

(b) When any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle through a column of school children crossing a street or highway or past a member of a school safety patrol or adult crossing guard, while the member of the school safety patrol or adult crossing guard is directing the movement of children across a street or highway and while the school safety patrol member or adult crossing guard is holding an official signal in the stop position. A peace officer may arrest the driver of a motor vehicle if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has operated the vehicle in violation of this paragraph within the past four hours.

(d) A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who violates this subdivision a second or subsequent time within one year of a previous conviction under this subdivision is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 3.Crossing between intersections.

(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section every driver of a vehicle shall (1) exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle or pedestrian upon any roadway and (2) give an audible signal when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.

Subd. 4.Use right half of crosswalk.

Pedestrians shall move when practicable upon the right half of crosswalks.

Subd. 5.Walk on left side of roadway.

Pedestrians when walking or moving in a wheelchair along a roadway shall, when practicable, walk or move on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder giving way to oncoming traffic. Where sidewalks are provided and are accessible and usable it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or move in a wheelchair along and upon an adjacent roadway.

Faribault Intersection where Pedestrian accident occurred.  Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault Intersection where Pedestrian accident occurred. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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