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Teen who crashed into semi trailer was watching ‘Stranger Things’ on her phone, Minnesota sheriff says

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Minnesota police say that a distracted driver likely owes her life to the quick thinking of a semi truck driver who was able to swerve to avoid a more serious crash.

According to a July 12 news release from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), officers responded over the weekend to a crash involving a passenger vehicle and a semi truck in northern Anoka County, Minnesota.

The passenger vehicle driver, a teenage girl, was found at the scene suffering from minor injuries, but police say that her vehicle was heavily damaged.

“Her vehicle suffered significant damage and had rolled over after crossing the centerline, directly into the path of the semi truck. Multiple witnesses reported the female’s vehicle was fully in the oncoming lane before the crash. The driver of the semi truck, an adult male, swerved to the shoulder to try to avoid the crash, likely saving the other driver’s life in the process. Instead of striking the semi truck head on, the passenger vehicle struck the trailer,” ACSO said.

When officers interviewed the teen, she reportedly denied using her phone before the crash.

However, “the investigating deputies observed that her vehicle’s Bluetooth system was still streaming the audio to Stranger Things on Netflix. When confronted with this information, the driver admitted to watching Netflix while driving. She was issued a citation and released.”

“Distracted driving remains a major concern on the roads of Anoka County. Every day deputies encounter drivers who are on their cell phones, texting, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. On rare occasions, we see drivers who are attempting to watch movies or other videos while driving,” ACSO said.

Police say that from 2016 through 2020 more than 39,000 crashes in Minnesota were related to distracted driving, causing 155 fatalities and nearly 1,000 serious injuries.

The ACSO says that any driver who is using their cell phone should expect to be stopped and cited.

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