Minneapolis police have detained a woman after she allegedly ran down a construction worker because she was staring at her phone, as reported by CBS Minnesota.
Authorities say Jordan Paulus, 19, rammed into Laura Soto, 33, as she held a sign for a construction crew. Soto, a mother of 6, was critically injured and is fighting for her life at Hennepin County Medical Center. Her injuries include two collapsed lungs and a broken vertebrae. Doctors also say that an artery leading to her heart may have ruptured.
Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s spoke to reporters about the gruesome accident.
“Apparently [the driver] didn’t notice the flagger and just simply ran into her,” he said. “The driver made some statement to the effect that she was checking a notification in her phone.”
Witnesses said Paulus swerved around traffic and hit Soto head-on, as she allegedly checked a Snapchat notification. They also noted that Soto had absolutely no time to react.
“The foreman told me she had no chance to move. She just got tossed,” her fiancé, Ryan Berg, told StarTribune. “She had a reflective vest and pants on. There was no reason not to see the stopped traffic.”
Berg also told reporters that, due to the alleged nature of the accident, he has no sympathy for the driver.
“If it had been an accident, I could have some sympathy for the driver,” he said. “But she didn’t keep her eyes on the road and had to be on Snapchat. We need to pass stronger laws … to be hands-free, at least in construction zones.”
“Hang up, it’s not worth it. Everybody thinks it can’t happen to them until it does.”
Investigators are still deciding if Paulus should face criminal charges. The Soto family has started a GoFundMe to help cover some of her medical expenses. As of this writing, the page has raised over $3,000.
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