Woman charged for distracted driving crash that seriously injured St. Clair teen

Highway 60 crash, June 29, 2018. Levi Tonn of St. Clair was seriously injured when his pickup was hit from the rear by another vehicle.

(Mankato, MN) – A Northfield woman is facing charges for a June crash south of Madison Lake in which a St. Clair teen was seriously injured.

Fifty-two-year-old Dawn Lee Barber has been charged in Blue Earth County Court with misdemeanor careless driving for the crash that sent 17-year-old Levi Tyler Tonn to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester with multiple life-threatening injuries.

According to the criminal complaint, Tonn suffered a broken clavicle, fibula, femur, a hip bone-chip, and a bruised lung from the June 29 evening crash.

According to the initial crash report by the Minnesota State Patrol, Tonn was eastbound on Highway 60 north of 216th Street preparing to turn left, when the Chevy Truck he was driving was struck from behind by the Dodge Journey driven by Barber.  Tonn’s vehicle went into the westbound lanes of the highway, where it was hit by a dump truck.  An extensive investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol found that Barber had not braked prior to the crash, according to the criminal complaint.

Response team rushes at the scene of a crash on Highway 60 south of Madison Lake – June 29, 2018

Barber told police she’d been traveling with her 3-year-old granddaughter, who was crying.  The criminal complaint says Barber was watching her granddaughter in the sun visor mirror and tried to calm her down when she looked up to see Tonn stopped in front of her.  She told police she had tried to swerve to avoid hitting the pickup.  Barber admitted that road conditions and visibility were good and that Tonn’s blinker and brakes were activated.  Barber’s granddaughter wasn’t injured, but the dump truck driver, a 27-year-old Fairmont man, was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries as a result of the crash.

St. Mary’s Rochester declared Tonn is serious but stable condition several days after the crash.

Barber is due in Blue Earth County Court on January 24.

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