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Police: Speed Not A Factor In Fatal I-35W Crash

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police said the driver who hit and killed two construction workers in Burnsville was not speeding. The information comes from investigators after questionable posts popped up on the driver’s Facebook page.

The accident happened Thursday afternoon on Interstate 35W and County Road 42 in Burnsville.

According to the State Patrol, 21-year-old Kirk Deamos lost control of his car, and wound up in the median.

He hit and killed 47 year-old Craig Carlson and 44-year-old Ronald Rajkowski.

Deamos is from Missouri, and was on his way to visit his girlfriend in Minnesota.

People were concerned because earlier this week on Facebook he posted a couple of messages about his new car. He described it as “faster than a rocket,” and added he was, “ready to really test it out on the highway to Minnesota Thursday … so pumped!”

The State Patrol and Minneapolis Police said he wasn’t speeding at the time of the accident however.

Lt. Eric Roeske said witnesses told investigators it didn’t look like he was driving too fast.

Roeske said they’re trying to determine if he may have been distracted or if anything else lead to the crash.

“It’s not always a huge error on the part of the driver, and I’m not specifically referring to this driver because it’s still under investigation. But often times it comes down to a moment of inattention or a small mistake on a part of a driver, at the wrong time and the wrong place that can cost lives,” he said.

Both Carlson and Rajkowski leave behind a wife and two kids. Carlson was a project manager that oversaw the electrical aspect of the construction projects. His family said he rarely worked in the field, but would go to the construction zone if he needed to get the job done.

“He was very safe and cautious and knew his stuff,” said Debbie Carlson, Craig’s wife.

The family is now hoping that Craig’s death, forces other drivers to think about slowing down and moving over in construction zones.

“There’s not a lot of courtesy when these people are putting their life at risk on the side of the road in the first place,” said Carlson.

Deamos hasn’t been arrested and no charges have been filed. Roeske said that Deamos was tested for drugs and alcohol and none were found in his system. The State Patrol has to finish the investigation which could take a while. Then the county attorney will decide whether or not to press charges. Carlson’s brother, Chris can’t help but think about Deamos even though he’s grieving the loss of his brother.

“I have a 21-year-old son and if I got a phone call saying he did something like that, I’d feel almost as bad as I do now,” said Chris Carlson, Craig’s brother.

Roeske also said there was another crash in that area Friday morning. He said a drunk driver crashed into the construction barrier there, but it happened when there were no construction workers on site.

The State Patrol said drivers need to slow down and be extra careful in these construction zones.

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