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Minnesota roundup: Charges filed in crash that killed pregnant passenger in Washington County

ST. PAUL—A 21-year-old man has been charged with a misdemeanor in connection with a crash last year that killed a 20-year-old mother who was expecting her second child.

Drew Tyler Fleming, 21, of North Hudson, Wis., was charged with one count of reckless driving in the Feb. 29, 2016, crash in Washington County that killed Megan Goeltz, 22, of Hudson, Wis. According to charges filed Friday in Washington County, Fleming "was distracted by his cell phone."

The crash happened before 7 a.m. at Minnesota 95 and 22nd Street in West Lakeland Township.

Fleming became distracted by his phone northbound on 95, the charges say. Fleming veered off the road and into the ditch, then "vaulted over the 22nd Street approach," according to the charges. "While airborne after this vault, defendant's vehicle collided into to Victim's vehicle," which was stopped at the intersection, the charges state.

Fleming suffered minor injuries. Goeltz was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital. Her daughter was 3 at the time and she was 13 weeks pregnant, said her father, Tom Goeltz.


Police ID pedestrian killed in Duluth, charges possible against driver

DULUTH, Minn.—Police have identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a vehicle Tuesday in Duluth, while the driver remains jailed and awaits vehicular homicide charges.

Donna Ruth Estrem, 62, of Duluth, was struck and killed by an SUV at about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of London Road and 40th Avenue East, in the city's Congdon Park neighborhood, according to the Duluth Police Department.

A witness said this week that the victim was hit and thrown into an electrical box by a Mercury Mountaineer that had apparently skidded off London Road and came to a rest in front of the Ecumen Lakeshore senior living facility.

Officers suspected that the driver, a 49-year-old Superior woman, was impaired, and she was taken to a local hospital for a blood draw. She remained in the St. Louis County Jail Wednesday on a preliminary charge of criminal vehicular homicide.

A formal charging decision from the St. Louis County Attorney's Office is due Thursday morning, though a judge could grant an extension to allow an investigation to continue.


Driver dies after collision with semi

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — An 87-year-old man has died after his vehicle struck a semi Tuesday, April 4, near Thief River Falls.

Arvin Ernest Dahl of Middle River, Minn., died from injuries he received from the crash on U.S. Highway 59 about 2 mile north of Thief River Falls.

He was driving a 2011 Buick Lucerne west on 190th Street Northeast when he failed to yield to David Mark Loe, a 62-year-old from Browerville, Minn., who was northbound on Highway 59 in a 2010 Mack Tractor. Dahl struck the semi.

Dahl's passenger, Marvel Lenora Dahl of Middle River, was taken with Arvin Dahl to Sanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Loe was not injured.


Train hits, kills man on tracks

CUSHING, Minn. — A 35-year-old Sauk Centre, Minn., man was killed Wednesday when he was struck by a train on the railroad tracks near Highway 10 and 60th Avenue, in Cushing Township.

The Morrison County Sheriff's Office responded to the fatality at 3:14 a.m.

The sheriff's office reported that a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was traveling north when it struck Kyle Schiltz, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff's office was assisted by the Randall Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance and is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Cushing Township is about 50 miles north of St. Cloud.


Fisherman killed near Mississippi River dam

GENOA, Wis.—A fisherman was killed Friday after his boat was sucked into the churning waters below a dam on the Mississippi River while he rushed to put on his life jacket near the Minnesota-Iowa border, according to police and media reports.

Witnesses said James Kenneth Freeman, 52, of Lansing, Iowa, and his boat entered the restricted area below Lock and Dam No. 8 near Genoa, Wis., and Freeman was unable to get away from the roiling waters, according to the Vernon County, Wis., sheriff's office.

According to a statement from the sheriff's office: "The Vernon County Sheriff's Office received a call of a boat that was close to the rollers of the dam. The operator of the boat attempted to put his anchor down but it did not hold. The caller stated that he told the fisherman to get out of there. The fisherman attempted to get away from the dam but the current was too strong and pulled the boat under the roller gates."

Freeman was attempting to put on his life jacket when his boat capsized and he went under, according to a report by WXOW-TV in La Crosse, Wis.

Further details weren't readily available. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was investigating.