Skip to main content

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

Seventh Street Truck Park shooting, St. Paul

St. Paul man pleads guilty in illegal firearms conspiracy

One of the guns Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan obtained was used in a deadly St. Paul shooting last year.

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."


The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.


APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.


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.

stearns county crash

Driver injured after falling asleep, crashing into trees

The car went off the road and went airborne.

Hyundai recalls 63,000 cars because sunroofs could fly off

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

Man drives on to shoulder, crashes into unoccupied car

The man suffered life-threatening injuries.