Skip to main content
Publish date:

After wife is injured by distracted driver, Minnesota sheriff urges motorists to 'put the phone down'

The lawman's wife was waiting to turn left when she was hit on Hwy. 14.
The Ford Edge the sheriff's wife was driving. 

The Ford Edge the sheriff's wife was driving. 

A Minnesota sheriff's post on his Facebook page has been shared more than 4,000 times as he revealed damage to his wife's car caused by a distracted driver. 

Fortunately, Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele's wife survived after being hit from behind by a distracted driver on Hwy. 14 on Monday, Feb. 24. The rear of the vehicle she was in was completely crushed, with Thiele saying the crash happened when she was waiting to turn into a driveway after a day of work in Rochester. 

"When I answered the phone you could tell there was something wrong by the trembling of her voice," Sheriff Thiele wrote. "Unfortunately, Highway 14 is a road full of statistics. My wife, almost became another one."

The sheriff said the driver that caused the crash "wasn't paying attention" and instead "reading a text."

"She was transported back to Rochester with several injuries. She is home now and in a lot of pain caused by some person that couldn't wait to read a text," he continued. 

"If my girls would have been in the back seat they wouldn't be with us today."

Thiele, elected sheriff of Steele County in 2010, concluded his message urging drivers to obey the hands-free law. 

"While on the road, put the phone down. Hands Free saves lives."

According to the Star Tribune, between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31 last year, more than 9,700 hands-free citations were issued to drivers in Minnesota. More than 4,200 of those were for dialing a number, talking or listening while holding or phone or being involved in a video call. 

Another 3,000 tickets were issued for texting, and nearly 2,200 were for watching videos, playing games or using apps. 

Next Up

ambulance

1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.

robbery

St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.

lush

LUSH in Minneapolis to reopen under new ownership in December

FOX 9's Jason Matheson and two popular performers are among the new owners of the revived bar and restaurant.

unsplash roller blade close

Lace up: Indoor skating returns to US Bank Stadium this winter

The venue announced 13 Winter Warm-Up dates for both skaters and runners.

covid

More than 1,500 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in MN

Minnesota's hospital systems continue to be under tremendous strain.

state patrol

3 killed in trio of crashes in Minnesota on Monday

The crashes happened in St. Louis, Winona and Carver counties.

2560px-Foo_Fighters_-_Southside_Festival_2019_4184_-_1

Foo Fighters reveal 2022 Twin Cities tour stop

The show will require proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test.

MSP airport

Police investigating after large fight caught on video at MSP Airport

People threw punches, broke chairs and tossed stanchions during the incident.

Hennepin County Government Center

Driver who killed innocent man, dog while drag racing is sentenced

The victim and his dog were struck while trying to cross the street.

Related

An unusual sentence for distracted driver who killed cop and his wife

Under a plea deal, the teen will have 25 public speaking engagements.

Distracted driver slams into Edina police vehicle

Fortunately, there were only minor injuries.

distracted driving crash

Police: People lucky to walk away from distracted driving crash

It happened to the south of I-35W on surface roads.

Video shows Roseville PD nearly T-boned by distracted driver

Police are urging people to stay alert at the wheel.

hospital, emergency room

State Patrol: 3 teens injured in crash when driver 'looked down at cellphone'

At least two of the teens were taken to HCMC with life-threatening injuries.

bear cub

3 injured in crash after truck swerves to avoid bear cub

The crash happened on Hwy. 2 in St. Louis County.