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

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

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. 

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