Charge: Driver used prescription painkillers before fatally striking woman near Princeton

A 69-year-old woman was walking home when she was hit.
Publish date:
Thomas W. Jones

A 55-year-old Minnesota man is facing a charge of criminal vehicular homicide after fatally striking a woman on the side of the road in Sherburne County. 

The fatal collision happened March 23 around 4:25 p.m. on 313th Ave. in Baldwin Township. According to a criminal complaint, Thomas W. Jones, of Princeton, told police that he lost control of his vehicle when he reached for a can of pop while driving eastbound on the roadway. 

According to the complaint, Jones crossed over the center line and westbound lane of traffic and struck 69-year-old Catherine Lynn. Lynn, who the Star Tribune reports was walking home with her partner, died at the scene. 

Jones initially told authorities that he "did not see anyone on the north shoulder prior to the crash," only to later admit that reaching for a can of pop wasn't the reason he lost control of his vehicle, saying he was “not real sure what happened" while maintaining that he never saw the walkers. 

A state trooper believed Jones was impaired at the time of the crash. A drug evaluator at the Sherburne County Jail determined that belief to be true, and Jones confessed to using his normal prescription for  morphine and oxycodone. 

Jones believed that "he is used to the effect of taking these drugs and he does not believe it impacted his ability to safely drive a car," the complaint said. 

Jones has posted bail and is free ahead of his April 15 court appearance, the Star Tribune reports. 

Because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, a memorial service for Lynn has been put on hold. "Due to the mandated health-care precautions, a celebration of life service will be held at a later date," her obituary reads

Next Up


State Patrol: Man ran onto I-94, was fatally hit by car

He had been involved in a separate crash prior to running onto the freeway.

mississippi river

Crews search for person in Mississippi River in Minneapolis

The fire department lost visual of the person Thursday evening.

Brooklyn Center, protest, Daunte Wright

Police back off on 5th night of protests in Brooklyn Center

No tear gas or any other crowd control munitions were used.

Brooklyn Center unrest

National Guard soldiers asked to leave labor union HQ, sparking controversy

The military presence in the Twin Cities has been wearing on residents, but the decision to ask them to leave has been criticized by Gov. Tim Walz and GOP leaders.

Rennia Davis

Lynx select Rennia Davis in 2021 WNBA Draft

The Tennessee wing was selected ninth overall

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 7.08.23 PM

Appeal to find girl, 14, missing from Benson

Cienna Pittman went missing Tuesday.

Miguel Sano

Walk-off win for Twins snaps 5-game losing streak

Miguel Sano homered, but Max Kepler had the winning hit.


St. Paul mayor vetoes council's denial of $57M apartment complex

The project has raised affordable housing and gentrification concerns, but the mayor says all types of housing are needed in St. Paul.


Daniel A. Rodman

Charges: Driver was impaired when he fatally struck teen in Blaine

The 28-year-old Ramsey man is accused of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol and marijuana.

Jodi Zenti

Doctor fatally struck by vehicle after exiting to help driver

She was a doctor at the Coon Rapids Allina Health clinic.

Bloomington man fatally struck by suspected drunk driver

The deadly crash happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

2 die in separate crashes on Minnesota roads Friday night

A 28-year-old man and a 75-year-old woman are dead following two separate crashes Friday evening.

Man dead after being struck by driver in central Minnesota

A 51-year-old Minnesota man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man standing by stalled vehicle fatally struck by SUV

The 45-year-old victim is from Squaw Lake, Minnesota.