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

Officer Bill Mathews was a nine-year veteran of the police department.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The woman who was driving the SUV that hit and killed a Wayzata police officer admitted she was talking on the phone and getting texts before the crash. 

Police say 54-year-old Beth Freeman was driving when she hit Wayzata Police Officer William "Bill" Mathews as he cleaned up a chunk of metal from the eastbound lanes of Highway 12 in Wayzata on Friday afternoon. 

“This is another case of a distracted driver, someone who thought she could drive a one-ton vehicle safely while using her cell phone,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman (who has no relation to Beth Freeman) said in a statement

Beth Freeman told investigators she was talking on the phone and getting texts prior to crash, the criminal complaint says. Police also administered a field sobriety test, noting she had constricted pupils and had trouble walking backwards. 

Drug paraphernalia in her vehicle tested positive for cocaine, the complaint says. 

Beth Freeman was charged Monday with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and driving with a canceled license. 

Her license had been canceled due to her poor driving record, the Star Tribune reports. Court records show Freeman has been convicted of several driving violations, including passing too close to a parked emergency vehicle and driving with a canceled license, among many other convictions

A public funeral for Mathews, who was a nine-year veteran of the Wayzata Police Department, is scheduled for Thursday. 

Mathews leaves behind a wife and a 7-year-old son. 

Next Up

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

Two people fatally shot by police in Wadena County, two officers injured

Another man was shot in the altercation, which police claim started when one of the suspects opened fire on officers.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.

snow

Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.

Blake Fredrick / Lake City Basketball

Lake City boys basketball player signs contract, honored on senior night

Frederick had a special call-up to the Tigers' varsity basketball team.

Related

Funeral for Wayzata officer killed on highway will be Thursday

Officer Bill Mathews was hit by a car while picking up debris on Highway 12.

Driver who hit, killed Wayzata cop gets 8 years

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

Minneapolis officer accused of trying to sexually assault passed-out woman

The officer's lawyer argues it was consensual, just "adults being adults."

Update: Man sought after Crookston woman's death arrested in Twin Cities

Investigators said he may know something about a woman who was found dead Wednesday morning.

Tabitha sigler

Woman, 19, charged with using stolen Jeep to try to kill police officer

She drove at 100 mph at the officer, who had to leap out of the way.

duluth police department

Duluth police officer charged in September shooting

The officer, who is a five-year veteran, is charged with two felonies.