Defense Attorney Blames Dead Teen For Fatal Crash

WINONA, Minn. (AP) — The attorney for a Minnesota teen accused in a traffic crash that killed three classmates and critically injured another says one of the victims caused the accident, not the defendant.

The 17-year-old’s lawyer has filed papers in Winona County asking that charges against the boy be dismissed. The defense blames Shauna Marie Ruhoff for the fatal crash that killed her and two other teens, 14-year-old Katie Lee Hornberg and 13-year-old Morgan Elizabeth Zeller from Lewiston-Altura High School last April.

Twelve-year-old Cydney Maker suffered serious injuries.

Investigators concluded the defendant and Ruhoff were driving their trucks side-by-side at more than 80 mph before Ruhoff lost control and struck the boy’s vehicle, then rolled several times in a ditch near Altura. The Winona Daily News says prosecutors have until Dec. 28 to file a response to the motion filed by defense attorney Michael Colich.

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  • MarkHT

    This is just another example of why children should not be operating motor vehicles. The insurance industry rates teen drivers as the most “at risk” group of drivers, trumping even the elderly. It’s high time we woke up from our delusion that teens possess the maturity and judgement to drive a car. True, many teens make it through the risky years (16, 17) and live to raise families and enjoy their lives, but many many others do not-and many of these are innocent motorists who just happen to cross the path of 2000 lbs of motorized immaturity and youthful stupidity.

  • Jacob

    There are plenty of adults, too, that should not be operating motor vehicles – some adults are far, FAR more irresponsible than children. The science of driving, much like the science of anything, is imperfect. Our system works.

    • Jeff

      I agree there are alot of adults irresponsib;e. However, a 16 yr old driver is not mentally aware of the situations that driving presents itself moreso than say 25 yrs ago. They are not mentally ready to handle the hazards that todays driving presents and have that invincible attitude. the age should be moved to 17.. I assume you are 16 or there abouts that’s why you’re defending this group.

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