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CAR ACCIDENT DETAILS

January 1, 2020, 10:30am (Wednesday), cloudy, no rain, 26°F, Fillmore County, MN - The Mabel community, population 755, is grieving the loss of Dylan Delaney, 17 who died at the scene of the accident.  Spencer Douglas, 15 died two weeks later. The driver, Lauren Bedard, 19, suffered life threatening injuries but has since left the hospital. She still has long-term physical and cognitive injuries. Lauren failed to yield while making a left turn onto highway 44. A semi-truck hauling cattle collided into her 2015 Toyota Corolla. The car went into the ditch and the semi rolled onto its side. The truck driver was uninjured.

TEEN DRIVER RISK ANALYSIS

DRIVER BEHAVIORAL RISKS

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INEXPERIENCE RISKS

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VEHICLE SAFETY

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LESSONS LEARNED

FASTER SPEED LIMITS INCREASE FATALITIES

On 6/19/19 Minnesota raised the speed limit on Highway 44 from 55 to 60 mph. IIHS research has determined that for every 5 mph increase in a maximum speed limit, there is a corresponding 8.5% increase in fatality rates.

NO OBSTRUCTION INDICATES DISTRACTION

To rule out a visual obstruction Google photo maps was used to look at the intersection of Lyndall St and Hwy 44. Unless there was a large vehicle parked on the shoulder then the truck should have been visible. Sun glare was ruled out by using the app PhotoPills to determine the position of the sun on the time and day of the accident. The sun was directly behind her and would not have been a distraction.

TEEN PASSENGERS INCREASE RISK

Research by AAA determined one teen passenger increases the chance of a fatal accident by 44% and two teen passengers increases the odds by 88%.

HOLIDAYS ARE DANGEROUS FOR TEEN DRIVERS

Even though this accident did not occur on the weekend/nighttime, the statistically riskier times for a teen to drive, it did occur on a holiday. Accident risk increase whenever teens alter their normal driving routine. The IIHS determined 51% of all teen fatal accidents occur between Fri-Sun.

INEXPERIENCE LEADS TO DRIVER ERRORS

If the driver’s view was not physically obstructed, or was not distracted by the excitement of a holiday, or teen passengers, or something else, then the accident was the result of driver error. Further training of judging distance and speed is important for new drivers.

BIGGER VEHICLES PROTECT BETTER

Although no passenger vehicle will fare well in an accident with a semi-trailer truck. However, a larger, heavier vehicle would have better protected the occupants.

OBITUARY

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SPENCER DALE DOUGLAS

August 6, 2004 - January 11, 2020

Spencer Dale Douglas, 15, of Mabel, died Saturday, January 11, 2020, surrounded by family, at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., as a result of a  motor vehicle accident January 1, 2020.

Spencer was born August 6, 2004, in Decorah, Iowa, the son of Michael Douglas and Crystal Haight.  He attended Mabel-Canton High School, where he was involved in trapshooting, baseball, football, and weight lifting.  Spencer’s passion from his youth was racing motocross.

Spencer is survived by his parents Michael Douglas (Traci Lisowski) and Crystal Haight (Aaron Budweg), brothers and sisters Danielle (Ben) St. Martin, Margaret Douglas (Dylan Hohenstein), Nicholas Douglas (Nicole Currier), Kaylor Aasum (Noah), Madelyn Aasum, and Lydia Douglas; paternal grandmother Carol Douglas, nephew Jameson, niece Violet, nephew Hudson, special grandparents Lew and Ellen Aasum, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Dale Douglas, maternal grandparents Lloyd and Delores Haight, sister Isabella Douglas and best friend Dylan Delaney.

Funeral services will be Friday, January 17, 2020, at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel, Minn.  Burial will be in the Scheie Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be 9–10:45 a.m. Friday prior to services at the church. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.  Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel is assisting with arrangements. Source: http://fillmorecountyjournal.com/spencer-dale-douglas/