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Hwy. 12 crash occurs when driver falls asleep
Oct. 29, 2012
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By Ryan Gueningman
Managing Editor

INDEPENDENCE, MN – A three-vehicle crash occurred on Highway 12 Wednesday morning in Independence after a driver fell asleep and veered into oncoming traffic.

West Hennepin Public Safety (WHPS) responded to a crash at 5:41 a.m., according to Sergeant Gary Kroells.

The crash occurred in the 6700 block of Highway 12. Officers found 3 cars were involved, and one was in the ditch on the north side of Highway 12.

Preliminary investigation shows that Eric Babcock, 33, of St. Louis Park was westbound on Highway 12 when he crossed over the center line and struck an eastbound vehicle head-on, according to WHPS. That vehicle was being driven by Ronald Beasley, 50, of Buffalo.

Beasley stated he saw Babcock’s vehicle suddenly veer into his lane, and then he attempted to avoid the crash by swerving to the right, but was struck head-on.

Preliminary investigation shows Babcock fell asleep at the wheel while driving, according to WHPS.

Driver Timo Wuollet, 32, of Dassel was traveling eastbound behind Babcock’s vehicle when he observed Babcock’s vehicle swerve over the center line and hit Beasley’s vehicle head-on.

Woullet’s vehicle did not strike either vehicle, but struck debris in the roadway which damaged his radiator.

Beasley had facial injuries and leg pain. He was transported to Buffalo Hospital by North Memorial Ambulance.

Babcock had a cut on his face and passenger, Joseph Lais, 29, of St. Paul was not injured.

West Hennepin Public Safety was assisted at the scene by Maple Plain Fire and Rescue, North Memorial Ambulance and police officers from Medina and Orono.

“All parties involved were wearing their seatbelts, which was a major factor in minimizing their injuries,” Kroells said.

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