Troopers Use Central Minnesota Woman’s Death to Push for Sober Driving [VIDEO]
FOLEY -- With the holidays fast approaching, celebrations can last all day and night, and the Minnesota State Patrol is urging people to think ahead.
The Patrol recently put together a video telling the story of 35-year old Lindsay Cardinal of Foreston who was killed last January after an impaired driver hit her head-on, on Highway 23 in Foley. Cardinal was the mother of three young children.
Cardinal was going east when she was struck head-on by 29-year-old Kevin Couch, who had crossed the center line. Authorities say Couch had alcohol and/or drugs in his system at the time of the crash.
Two of Cardinal's three children were hurt in the crash. Four-year-old Wyatt Cardinal and one-year-old Evelyn Cardinal both had non-life-threatening injuries. Five-year-old Lillian Cardinal was not seriously hurt but suffered bruises and minor cuts in the crash.
State Patrol Sergeant Jesse Grabow tells WJON that Couch died recently.
Grabow says troopers are watching for drunk driving at all times, during every stop they make.
"It's something we're always enforcing. It doesn't matter if it's morning, noon or night. We're always out there providing this kind of enforcement when it comes to traffic stops."
When the Patrol does its drunk and impaired driving enforcement, they're not aiming to take people to jail. Sergeant Grabow says it's about making sure no other children have to grow up without their mom because of a drunk driver.
"It's really not about the number of arrests we're making, it's really about trying to prevent this very type of thing [deaths like Lindsay's] from happening. So that's why you always hear the messages [we put out]."
As fall gives way to winter, Grabow says sober driving and planning ahead is extremely important.
"Now with the changing of the seasons we're starting to see more snow and ice on the roads. And it's gonna be that way for the next several months, which can make travel difficult in itself, so if you're going to go out and celebrate, again, I just encourage you to be smart about it."
In 2015, 137 of the 411 fatalities on Minnesota roads were crashes related to drunk or impaired driving. Over 2,000 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes as well.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were also 25,027 DWI arrests in 2015. That's an average of 69 per day.
The GoFundMe page set up after the crash is still active, and you can still help the Cardinal family.