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Driver who hit, killed Wayzata police officer Bill Mathews gets 8 years

The 54-year-old woman from Mound had cocaine in the system at the time.

The driver who struck and killed a Wayzata police officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Bill Mathews, 47, was clearing debris from Hwy. 12 on Sept. 8, 2017 when he was hit by Beth Freeman, 54, of Mound.

Toxicology results showed that Freeman had cocaine in her system at the time, as well as traces of it in her vehicle.

It had previously been reported that she was distracted as well, having admitted to police at the scene she'd been on her phone prior to the crash.

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She pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in the crash that claimed the life of Mathews, whose wife Shawn and son Wyatt spoke at the sentencing.

The court heard that Freeman had substance abuse problems, and while she was making efforts to sober up, she'd relapsed after her mother's death in 2015, Hometown Source reports.

On the day of the incident, Freeman was driving to help her brother prepare for his wife's memorial.

Mathews' death was met with an outpouring of grief among family, friends, law enforcement and the wider community.

Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed into law a bill that renames Hwy. 12 within Wayzata city limits the "Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Highway."

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