Criminals charges are expected Tuesday against a 66-year-old Crosslake man, Sherman Frederick, arrested after he struck and killed a 3-year-old boy with his vehicle Saturday on Crow Wing County Road 3 in Merrifield.
The victim, identified Monday by the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department as Jack Larson of Buffalo, was in Merrifield with his family visiting his grandparents for Mother's Day weekend.
He was with several other children ages 6-14 who had been playing at the Merrifield Lions Park and were crossing County Road 3 from east to west, south of the county road's intersection with Crystal Lake Road, Sheriff's Capt. Neal Gaalswyk said.
Vehicle traffic on County Road 3 had come to a stop in both directions, four to five cars each direction, to allow the children to cross the road, Gaalswyk said.
Three children made it across the road. Two others, including the victim, were still crossing the road when a southbound vehicle driven by Sherman Frederick passed on the right shoulder to go by stopped cars in front of him and struck the boy.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. Frederick was arrested for criminal vehicular homicide.
Gaalswyk said witnesses described Frederick's vehicle as traveling fast as it passed the stopped vehicles. He said motorists passing on the shoulder is a problem the sheriff's department is seeing more of.
"First of all, he shouldn't have been passing on the right," Gaalswyk said. "It's illegal to pass on the right. The reason it's illegal is it's dangerous and if there are four to five vehicles stopped on the road there's probably a good reason they're stopped.
"I don't know what his thought process was, but the end result is we have a dead 3-year-old."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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