Just across the St. Croix River, in the state of Minnesota, sits the town of Hastings where, shortly before 8pm on September 6, 2012, a16-year-old girl lost her life during a serious motor vehicle accident. Although this may not have happened across state lines, the grim reality of the accident resonates with Wisconsin residents still, to this day.

Although investigators don’t know why, on the night of the fatal accident, the 16-year-old girl’s car began drifting across the center line as she approached a hill. While travelling in the oncoming traffic’s lane, she slammed into the front end of a pick-up truck driven by an 18-year-old boy. The male driver and his two teenage passengers were injured in the accident while the 16-year-old girl tragically lost her life.

Now, several months later, residents in both states were slightly surprised when the Dakota County attorney general’s office announced that no criminal charges would be filed in connection with the fatal accident. What likely led them to this decision was because there was no evidence that either driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, nor was there any indication that cell phone usage had been a factor in the crash.

Although no criminal charges have been filed, in cases like this, it is usually in the best interest of the victims and their families to seek legal advice concerning any civil claims. This can especially be true in cases where another driver has received injury because of someone else’s negligence.

Source: The Star Tribune, “No criminal charges to be filed in fatal crash near Hastings,” Pat Pheifer, Jan. 31, 2013