Hwy 52/Co. 9 claims another life
A Northfield woman is dead after a T-bone crash at the intersection of Highway 52 and County Road 9 that occurred around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Sharon J. Hull, 74, was traveling eastbound on County Road 9 when her Kia Spectra was struck by a Mazda van traveling northbound on Highway 52, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Hull was transported to Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester where she was pronounced dead a little before midnight, the State Patrol said.
The driver of the van, identified by authorities as Anna M. Hauser, 29, of Galesville, Wis., was treated at Cannon Falls Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Hauser's passenger, a 1-year-old child, sustained no apparent injuries, the State Patrol said. The child's relation to Hauser could not be verified by press time.
Thursday's fatal crash adds to the more than 50 T-bones recorded at the intersection south of Cannon Falls since 2000, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation data.
There have been 11 T-bone crashes there that caused serious or fatal injuries between 2000 and 2011, MnDOT said.
The intersection has been hotly debated in Goodhue County in recent months, with county staff actively working to secure funds to build an overpass at the site.
"I really feel horrible for the people involved in the crash and their families," said County Commissioner Jim Bryant, adding that the county will do whatever it can to make the intersection as safe as possible.
"We are going to continue to push the state and federal government to help do what is necessary, which is to build an overpass at the intersection," Bryant said. "Hopefully we can get something done sooner rather than later."
County Engineer Greg Isakson told county commissioners at a meeting Tuesday that his staff applied for a state grant to help fund the approximately $8 million overpass project.
Meanwhile MnDOT has already announced plans to install a conflict-reduction intersection that would end through-traffic on County Road 9 this summer.
The intersection will require drivers to first turn right onto Highway 52, and then use a U-turn lane to backtrack before making another right-hand turn to continue on County 9 Road.
Such intersections have reduced fatal or serious crashes by as much as 86 percent at other locations around Minnesota, MnDOT said.