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.
Publish date:

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.

Today's Top Stories

– Thieves go on house, car burglary spree in Roseville.

– FOX 9 weatherman recovering after heart attack.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

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."

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.


How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said


Driver killed in Minnetonka crash while fleeing police

It closed Minnetonka Boulevard in both directions.

Man killed fleeing police was guitarist for Twin Cities metal band

David Baxter, 30, of Montrose died in the head-on collision.

Charges: Woman was distracted when she hit, killed Wayzata officer

Officer Bill Mathews was a nine-year veteran of the police department.

The boy who was hit by a snowmobile on a Minnesota lake has died

The 8 year old and his father were putting up an icehouse when they were hit.

Breyona cotton

Charges: Driver who killed pedestrian says she thought she'd hit deer

The 30-year-old has been charged with two traffic crimes.

Mother and son charged in hit-and-run that killed St. Paul restaurant worker

The victim was popular restaurant worker Jose Hernandez Solano.

Pedestrian killed crossing highway in Medina

It happened not far from the Medina Golf & Country Club.

Distracted driver charged in crash that killed Blaine cop and his wife

The 17-year-old girl is facing 2 charges of vehicular homicide.