MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Chisago County Commissioner is charged with homicide after a fatal wrong-way crash which investigators say was due to a medical condition.
Lora Jean Walker, 48, is charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators say Walker was heading east on Highway 95 on March 11, 2017 at around 3:21 p.m. when she turned onto the southbound exit ramp of I-35, heading north.
Investigators say another driver exiting the freeway saw Walker’s car and started honking and waving at her, but Walker reported laughed and waved as she passed. Several other drivers noticed her laughing, and one driver reported Walker’s brake lights never lit up as she flew past southbound drivers heading 80 or 90 miles per hour.
Eventually, Walker’s car collided with a Ford Fusion, killing the 63-year-old driver inside. Walker was seriously injured in the crash and airlifted to the hospital.
Walker told investigators she was diabetic, and had low blood sugar at the time of the crash. Police noted several sugary snacks inside her car, along with insulin and other medical equipment for controlling and monitoring diabetes.
Walker had also been involved in a crash in 2009 which was attributed to her low blood sugar. After that, she’d been required to report loss-of-consciousness incidents in regular check-ins with the Department of Public Safety, which prosecutors say she failed to do after an incident in 2011.
If convicted, Walker could face up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.