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The Drive

News from around the state

Distracted driver hits Edina squad while trying to find her phone

Distracted and drowsy while driving turned out to be a bad combination for a woman from Albert Lea, Minn. who crashed into the back of an Edina squad car early Wednesday.

The woman said she was tired and was trying to grab her phone that she had dropped on the floor when she struck the squad just before 3 a.m. while she headed north on Hwy. 169 near Bren Road, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.

Officer Nicholas Pedersen was stopped on the right shoulder and had his headlights and taillights on when he was hit. 

Neither the Pedersen or the 38-year-old driver were seriously hurt, but both were taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital for evaluation, said city spokeswoman Kaylin Eidsness.

The woman, who was driving a 2017 Dodge Journey, was cited for careless driving. 

Both vehicles sustained heavy damage,

The incident prompted Edina Police in a tweet to remind motorists that "This is distracted driving. Your phone in not this important"

Thursday traffic: Major delays continue on I-94 in Maple Grove, Mpls.

Traffic on eastbound I-94 is getting back up to freeway speed after a wreck in the vicinity of Hwy. 610 in Maple Grove has cleared. Earlier drivers had been caught in lengthy delays that brought traffic to a very slow roll from Hwy. 101 past the scene.

Things are better on westbound I-94 in downtown Minneapolis, too. The construction that has one lane closed between Chicago and Nicollet Avenues is leading to a 12-minute ride from the Mississippi River to the Lowry Hill Tunnel.
Look for some sluggishness on northbound I-35 from 60th Street to Lake Street, but overall, not a bad trip at 8:45 a.m.
Prepare for a slow pocket of traffic on westbound I-694 near the Mississippi River as a crash is working near University Avenue. Plan on a 5 minute delay.