The driver of a pickup truck which drifted onto the shoulder of a Minnesota highway, striking and killing a woman on a bicycle, has been charged with vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.
25-year-old South Dakota resident Christopher Weber was behind the wheel of the truck, and police claim that the man may have been distracted by text messages on his cell phone as his car drifted onto the shoulder and caused the accident.
“There’s evidence that [Weber] was distracted by a cellphone, which contributed to the crash,” Lt. Matt Sorenson of Minnesota State Patrol said, according to the Argus Leader.
The vehicle collided with 33-year-old Andrea Boeve, a woman who was on a bicycle ride and pulling her young daughters in a trailer alongside her. The accident took place near Boeve’s home and cattle ranch, which she ran with her husband.
Boeve was killed in the accident, while her 4-year-old daughter sustained serious injuries including broken ribs and a punctured lung. The 1-year-old’s injuries were minor, but both daughters were hospitalized after the incident. A GoFundMe account has been set up in support of the two young girls.
According to the StarTribune, Boeve was riding her bicycle with the flow of traffic in accordance with Minnesota state laws. She and her two daughters were also wearing helmets, although that safety feature is not required of bicycle riders in Minnesota.
The investigation into Weber’s actions while behind the wheel are still underway.