|3/16/2017 2:35:00 PM|
County commissioner involved in wrong-way fatal crash
The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a two vehicle crash March 11 that left one man dead and a Chisago County commissioner hospitalized.
Lora Walker, 47, was driving northbound in a southbound lane of I-35, when her SUV hit a Ford Fusion sedan head-on near Harris, according to preliminary accident reports. Area firefighters were dispatched as the vehicles caught fire. Traffic was shutdown for hours during mid-day.
Commissioner Walker remains hospitalized as of early this week. She represents District 1 on the county board, which encompasses Lent Township, the half of North Branch below Hwy 95, Center City and Chisago Lake Township North.
For reasons of privacy, County Administrator Bruce Messelt would not comment on how the situation affects the County Board; but he said the county will accomodate Commissioner Walker every way possible, including remote participation in Board meetings. At the Lent Town meeting Tuesday this week Sue Sinna, Walker’s mother, announced Walker had been in surgery, and additional surgery is expected. Sinna expressed condolences for the victim and his family and thanked the responders aiding at the crash.
The state patrol says it will release the name of the victim March 18.
Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter has decided she will request the Mille Lacs County Attorney oversee the case, saying this is “...to ensure objectivity in bringing (possible) charges and then prosecuting such a case,” Reiter concluded.