MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal accident that closed part of southbound Interstate 494 near Bass Lake Road Saturday morning. Now, the Patrol is saying that the tragedy could have been prevented if the woman would have worn a seat belt.
According to Lt. Eric Roeske, around 7:17 a.m., the sun was coming up and the roads were icy when the woman headed northbound in her Dodge Durango, lost control and rolled over.
The driver, 25-year-old Amanda Lynch, of Eagan, was ejected into the southbound lanes, where two large trucks approached. The truck drivers were able to stop in time, but a third car, a Toyota Camry, was not.
“Apparently the driver wasn’t able to stop on time or recognize what was occurring,” said Roeske.
Authorities identified the driver as Inara Kibasov of Elk River. She has not been cited in this accident.
Investigators believe Lynch was alive before Kibasov’s car hit her, but once emergency crews arrived, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Lynch died of multiple blunt force injuries, as a result of the crash.
Roads were icy at the time.
Lynch had her 2-year-old daughter in her car. The little girl was brought to the hospital where she was checked out, but suffered no apparent injury.
Troopers say Lynch strapped her daughter in safely, but found no evidence that she used a seat belt herself.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be wearing a seat belt, there’s a good likelihood we wouldn’t be talking about this tragedy had a seat belt been worn, despite all the other factors,” said Roeske.
The Patrol responded to 358 accidents throughout Minnesota since Friday. There were nearly 50 injury accidents in the metro area in the past 24 hours with the snowstorm, but this was the only deadly accident.
I-494 was closed for about three hours Saturday morning while State Patrol investigated.