State Patrol: Driver falls asleep, crash launches car 100 feet

The Brainerd woman survived with minor injuries.

A central Minnesota woman fell asleep at the wheel and had a rude awakening when her car launched 100 feet into the air.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the 66-year-old Brainerd woman had been driving her Chevy Impala southbound on Highway 169 in Aitkin County around 2 a.m. Sunday.

According to the report, she fell asleep, the car veered into the ditch, and went airborne for 100 feet.

The airbags deployed and the woman suffered only minor injuries. She was conscious when authorities arrived and was taken to Riverwood Hospital in Aitkin.

Falling asleep while driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says falling asleep behind the wheel is a big problem in the U.S.

In fact, an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the last 30 days.

The center says drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries in 2013. And up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.

According to the CDC, people who snore or get less than six hours of sleep are more likely to fall asleep while driving. So are people who have trouble sleeping or take medications that make them drowsy.

If you get tired, the Minnesota Safety Council recommends pulling off to a safe location away from traffic and taking a 15-45 minute nap.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.


Charges: Driver was going 80 mph before crash that killed two high school students

Authorities say she was going up to 82 mph in a 50 mph zone.

Man drives on to shoulder, crashes into unoccupied car

The State Patrol says he suffered life-threatening injuries.

Hyundai recalls 63,000 cars because sunroofs could fly off

The recall affects 2015-2016 Hyundai Sonatas with panoramic sunroofs.

Driver of crashed school bus fell asleep, investigation finds

The State Patrol revealed the finding after an investigation into the crash.