MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A section of a Minnesota highway is now named after a fallen officer killed by a suspected distracted driver last year.
On Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law that designates a section of U.S. Highway 12 — within Wayzata city limits — as “Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Highway.”
Last September, a distracted driver hit and killed Officer Bill Mathews while he was picking up debris on Highway 12. The driver of the car in the crash, Beth Freeman, was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the incident.
Investigators later determined Freeman’s driver’s license status to be “cancelled as inimical to public safety.” Freeman has a history of DUI, narcotics-related arrests and is currently on probation for drug charges, the complaint says.
In mid-April, Bill Mathews’ wife, Shawn, spoke out to the media on distracted driving.
“Today each of you have the opportunity to raise the awareness of distracted driving. Hopefully you can stop someone from making the same choice that has profoundly impacted my life,” she said. “If we all work together we can start a ripple a ripple that will affect lives, a ripple that will change behaviors and a ripple that will give some meaning to this senseless loss that Wyatt and I live with every day.”
Read more on the highway name here.