A 52-year-old Woodbury woman with an extensive history of reckless driving struck and killed a man standing on the shoulder of an east metro interstate last fall, according to charges.
Brenda L. Hafemann of Woodbury was charged Monday in Washington County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with hitting Randy Kopesky as he stood next to his SUV and trailer, which were parked on the shoulder of Interstate 94 near the St. Croix rest area.
Hafemann was charged by summons. A phone message was left Wednesday at her home seeking her response to the allegations. Kopesky was the former mayor of Lakeland Shores and was serving as a City Council member at the time of his death.
The felony complaint against Hafemann and other court records spanning the past decade reveal numerous crashes, driving complaints and citations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. From 2015 until last year, law enforcement confirmed that Hafemann’s vehicle was involved in more than 30 driving complaints or traffic stops. Among them were three nonfatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 before the one that killed Kopesky.
Just days before last November’s crash, Hafemann was convicted of careless driving stemming from a traffic incident in Woodbury on Sept. 6.
In Minnesota, she has been convicted three times since 2010 for speeding and once for driving while her license was suspended. Court records in Wisconsin show a conviction this spring for inattentive driving and another in 2017 for driving without a valid license.
According to the complaint involving Kopesky’s death:
Hafemann was heading west on I-94 under ideal driving conditions and light traffic about 8:50 a.m. on Nov. 3, when her car went onto the shoulder by more than 3 feet and struck the parked SUV, the trailer hauling four snowmobiles and Kopesky as he stood on the driver’s side of his vehicle. The impact threw Kopesky 45 to 50 yards into the ditch.
Hafemann continued to drive for more than a third of a mile before stopping and then going in reverse closer to the crash scene.
Officers said that Hafemann “indicated that she did not see any vehicles or anything on the side of the road before the crash,” the complaint read. “That she had no idea what she had hit indicates that she was not paying any attention to the roadway as driving and conditions and visibility were good.”