Rice County Deputy not charged after fatally hitting woman with car in January

(ABC 6 News) – According to a news release, charges will not be filed against a Rice County Sheriff’s Deputy who struck a Faribault woman, who was lying in the highway, with his patrol vehicle in January.

A Minnesota State Patrol report received August 9 by the Rice County Attorney’s Office did not recommend any charges to be filed in the case.

The report was based on dash cam footage from the deputy’s squad and a reconstruction of the accident.

To ensure there was no appearance of a conflict of interest, Rice County Attorney John Fossum asked the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office to review the findings.

On August 19, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem, declined to charge Sgt. Trevor Peterson, agreeing with the State Patrol that Stephanie Wesley, 52, was lying on the unlit, rural roadway just before 2 a.m. January 29 and that Peterson, who was traveling at, or below, the posted speed limit, did not have time to react and avoid striking Wesley.

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The crash occurred on Minnesota Hwy. 60, just east of the city of Morristown. Wesley, who died at the scene of multiple blunt-force injuries, had a blood alcohol level of .235, nearly three times the legal limit, according to the State Patrol.

“The investigation into this tragic incident is now closed. We appreciate the careful work of the Minnesota State Patrol in completing the investigation, and the assistance of the Olmsted County Attorney in reviewing the file for potential charges,” Fossum said.