Owatonna woman latest in Hwy. 14 carnage
The deadly two-lane stretch of U.S. Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center has claimed yet another life.
Allison Christine Anderson, 67, of Owatonna is the latest victim as she was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 14 in Havana Township Saturday afternoon. She was riding in a 2008 Pontiac G6 driven by Todd Richard Anderson, 58. Allison was pronounced dead at the scene.
Anderson’s death was the fourth fatality along Highway 14 over the past seven months.
Todd Anderson received life-threatening injuries and was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. His exact condition is unknown at this time.
According to the State Patrol, a 2018 Freightliner Tractor was traveling eastbound on Highway 14 at Mile Marker 182 when it attempted to pass an unknown vehicle and struck the Pontiac head-on. The crash happened at about 4:54 p.m.
The driver of the Freightliner, Hashim Lencha Siddiq, 29, of Blaine was not injured. He also had a passenger, Abdisalam Hasji Hassan, 28, of Oakdale, who was not injured.
The State Patrol reported the Andersons and Hassan were wearing their seat belts. It is unknown if Siddiq was buckled up. No alcohol is suspected in the crash, the patrol said.
The road condition was wet at the time of the crash, the patrol said.
The Steele County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the crash.
The crash took place in the 12-mile stretch of Highway 14 that is two lanes between Owatonna and Dodge Center. This is the third fatal crash that has claimed four lives over the past year. In July, Michael Joe Anderst of Dodge Center died in a single vehicle crash at Highway 14 and Highway 56 north in Dodge County. In September, Rachel Harberts and her daughter, Emerson, died of injuries in a two-vehicle crash along Highway 14 near Claremont.
Distracted driving has been identified as a major cause of the Harberts crash. However, State Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, a long-time critic of Highway 14, has also blamed the roadway for contributing to the Harberts deaths.
The Minnesota Legislature last year approved funding to expand Highway 14 in that area. However, lawmakers need to clean up some language in the bill before the project moves forward. It is likely construction on the expansion won’t begin until next year.
The Legislature has been wrangling over what to do with Highway 14 for nearly 30 years while many lives have been lost along that stretch of roadway. The road is not only viewed as a death trap, but has become infamously dubbed the Highway of Horrors.
Highway 14 Death Watch
12-mile stretch between Dodge Center and Owatonna
3 fatal crashes, 4 deaths since July 2018
- July 18: Dodge Center man killed at Hwy. 14 & Hwy. 56 north
- Sept. 7: Dodge Center woman and daughter killed at Hwy. 14 & CR 3 by Claremont
- Feb. 2: Owatonna woman killed on Hwy. 14 in Steele County