Faribault, MN (KROC-AM News)- A truck driver has been charged in connection to a fatal crash that occurred on a Minnesota interstate last summer. 

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The deadly crash happened on the afternoon of August 25 on I-35 in Rice County

The State crash report says a semi traveling north collided with a pick-up and car that were slowing due to a construction zone that reduced the interstate into a single lane in each direction near Faribault

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57-year-old Matthew Henry Hansen and 56-year-old Cimberly Ellen Hansen of Urbandale, IA were in the car. They lost their lives as a result of the crash

Charges: Truck Driver Distracted by Netflix Caused Fatal Crash on I-35 Near Faribault

The Rice County Attorney’s Office last week charged the truck driver, identified as 55-year-old Billy Joe Grimes of Lansing Tennessee with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation. 

Witnesses told State Troopers they saw Grimes looking down moments before the crash and being unable to stop for slowed traffic ahead of him, a news release announcing the charges says. 

MnDOT Aug. 25, 2023 photo
MnDOT Aug. 25, 2023 photo

Dash camera and roadside camera footage shows Grimes streaming a Netflix show on phone moments before the deadly crash, the charges say. 

The investigation indicates Grimes passed five signs warning motorists of an upcoming construction zone and instructing drivers to slow down for merging traffic at the start of the work zone.  

Grimes complaint. Rice County Court
Grimes complaint. Rice County Court

A reconstruction of the deadly crash found Grimes had the truck's cruise control set between 67 mph and 68 mph before the crash. The reconstruction also found no evidence that Grimes made an attempt to break before the fatal collision, the news release says.  

Grimes is due to make his first court appearance in Rice County Court next month.

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