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State Patrol: Driver Who Hit Boy, 7, Believed Asleep At The Wheel

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(credit: Delano Herald Journal/Ryan Gueningsman)

(credit: Delano Herald Journal/Ryan Gueningsman)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man who hit and killed a 7-year-old boy in a fatal accident in Montrose back in February appears to have fallen asleep at the wheel, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Authorities said Thursday they concluded their investigation of the Feb. 10 accident. Hayden Solien died when he was hit by car at about 8 a.m. that day while waiting for a school bus at his grandmother’s house. Solien was a student at Parkside Elementary School in Buffalo.

The State Patrol identified the driver as Robert Mercier, 47, of Arlington. His Ford Taurus LX was traveling west on the Highway 12 when it went up on the sidewalk, hit Hayden and then hit a tree and rolled. Hayden and Mercier, who was wearing his seat belt, both died at the scene.

Mercier’s wife said he was on his way home after working an overnight shift. The State Patrol said Thursday it appears the accident happened after Mercier fell asleep while driving.

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