FOLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — For a young family and their tight circle of friends, the sadness and shock is unbearable.
“Lindsay was known as the matriarch for our group of friends,” Steffany Hurt said.
Her friend, Lindsay Cardinal, had just picked up her three young kids from daycare – ages 5, 4 and 1. They were heading home, planning on making dinner.
Cardinal was driving east of Foley on State Highway 23 in the family’s Chevrolet Tahoe, when neighbors heard a horrifying sound.
“It was like our house shook – it was just that loud,” Porsche Kragt said.
Kragt saw it all from her front window and ran to the scene to see what she could do. By then, dozens of emergency responders were arriving as she recalls the cries of the three children. But when she began speaking to other witnesses and learned what had happened, her horror turned to anger.
The driver of the vehicle that crossed the centerline and slammed head on into Cardinal had been swerving in and out of traffic at high rates of speed. Later she would learn, investigators believe he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“It’s very upsetting, absolutely, it’s very sad. A mom of three kids, they don’t ever get to see her,” Kragt said.
Investigators say 29-year-old Kevin Gordon Couch of Milaca crossed the center line and hit the family head-on. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will determine if his blood alcohol content was above the state limit of .08.
Miraculously, the three children were each in child restraint seats and survived the crash without injuries. Their mother did not and died at the scene.
“She had called her husband from supper and said ‘Do I need to pick up anything for supper, what are we going to make?’ And she didn’t make it home,” Hurt, a close friend, said.
Kevin Couch has a history of DUI and was driving without a license at the time of Tuesday’s crash. He and a female passenger, Nicole Schmidt of Milaca, were airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale with life-threatening injuries.
Sadly, three kids are now without their mother – a grieving husband is without his wife. And longtime friends are left both hurt and angry, asking why?
“But most importantly, the family needs a lot of prayers now. Those three babies don’t have a mom,” Hurt said.
People living along Highway 23 at the edge of town are demanding that the 60-mile per hour limit be lowered. They say too many families with young kids now live in the area and the slower city speed limit should be extended further east.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the Cardinal family.