The officer was struck and killed while clearing debris from the roadway
Duty Death: William Matthews - [Minnesota]
End of Service: 09/08/2017
Yesterday at 12:25 PM
By S. M. Chavey
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
WAYZATA, Minn. — A Wayzata police
officer was struck and killed Friday afternoon while clearing debris
from the roadway of U.S. 12, authorities said.
Allen Mathews, 47, was responding to a call around 12:30 p.m. about
potential traffic hazards on the highway when a Nissan Murano struck him
in the eastbound lanes. He was rushed to North Memorial Medical Center
in Robbinsdale, where he died, Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold said.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the death of one of
Wayzata’s finest,” Risvold said at a late-afternoon news conference at
police headquarters in the Lake Minnetonka community.
Beth Ilene Freeman, 54, of Mound, stopped after the crash and was
cooperating with investigators, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich
Stanek said. She was booked into the Hennepin County Jail early Friday
evening on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation.
Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, said he didn’t know whether
alcohol or distracted driving played a role in the crash.
Authorities declined to say much about the investigation because the case remains active.
Mathews was married and had a 7-year-old son, Risvold said. He had been with the department for nine years.
“He was one of the good ones,” Risvold said.
Freeman has a minor criminal record dating back to 1987.
addition to several traffic violations — including driving after
license cancellation, “inimical” to public safety — Freeman has also
been convicted of check forgery, theft, possession of controlled
substances and massage without a license.
Mathews was involved in
law enforcement even before becoming a licensed officer. A graduate of
Pine Island High School, he earned a law enforcement degree from Winona
State University and served with the Winona police as a reserve officer
and the Rochester police as an intern.
After becoming a licensed
peace officer in 1998, he worked for the Zumbrota Police Department as
well as part time with the Olmsted and Goodhue county sheriff’s offices.
began working with the Wayzata Police Department in October 2008,
serving as a firearms instructor, field training officer and reserve
His death was first announced by new Minneapolis
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who asked for a moment of silence before
being sworn in during a Friday afternoon ceremony. Arradondo was
confirmed as police chief last month, after former Chief Janee Harteau
was asked to resign days after an officer fatally shot an Australian
woman who had made a 911 call in July to report a possible assault.
U.S. 12 at Hennepin County Road 101/Central Avenue in Wayzata was shut down in both directions after the collision.
Hennepin County sheriff’s office and the Minnesota State Patrol are
investigating the case. They ask that any witnesses to the crash call
The last time an officer died in the line
of duty in Minnesota was in October 2015, when Aitkin County sheriff’s
Investigator Steven Sandberg was shot at St. Cloud Hospital, according
to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Sandberg was guarding a hospitalized
domestic violence suspect, who seized the officer’s handgun and shot
him. Hospital security officers used a stun gun to subdue the suspect,
who later died.