MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Paul man is dead and another person is hurt after an accused drunk driver slammed into their car. The accident happened at 1 a.m. Friday, off Interstate 35E in Mendota Heights, Minn. The state patrol said this isn’t the first time the suspected drunk driver has been caught behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
“She was under the influence of alcohol, she was intoxicated, she was drunk,” said Captain Matt Langer with the State Patrol.
Witnesses say they saw 49-year-old Julie Fischer of Lakeville, Minn., weaving in and out of lanes on the highway. She was in the northbound lane of I-35E. Some people called to report her erratic driving, but it was too late. The State Patrol says her 1998 Pathfinder slammed into the back of a stalled car that was in the right-hand lane on the highway.
“Whether or not flashers or hazardous lights were on, we don’t know. The fact that sober witnesses were able to see that vehicle and were reacting to it is a telling story at this stage,” said Langer.
Tijuan Moore, 50, of St. Paul, was the driver of the stalled car. He died on the scene. Lisa Newsom, 26, was a passenger. She was taken to Regions hospital with minor injuries and was treated and released.
Fischer has a limited driver’s license for an earlier DWI arrest. That means she could only drive during certain times of the day.
Besides being accused of being drunk, it’s not clear whether she was legally supposed to be driving at the time of the accident.
“This was a case were an impaired driver failed to react to a fairly frequent occurrence on the freeway and it resulted in the death of a man,” said Langer.
Fischer is currently in custody in Dakota County.
WCCO-TV’s Amelia Santaniello Reports
Sonya Goins, Producer