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Video: Distracted driver nearly hits state trooper in Duluth

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Video: Distracted driver nearly hits state trooper in Duluth
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

A Minnesota state trooper was nearly hit by a distracted driver while helping a motorist on Interstate 35 in Duluth earlier this week - and the near-miss was caught on video.

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The State Patrol reported that the trooper was aiding the driver of a disabled vehicle on I-35 near 40th Avenue West on Easter Sunday. He had just gotten back in to his squad car when a passing vehicle drifted toward the stopped squad and disabled vehicle; the trooper saw the approaching car in his rear-view mirror.

"The trooper saw the vehicle barreling toward him and was able to move his squad — and himself — out of harm’s way at the last second," the Patrol reported today on its Facebook page.

After getting the disabled vehicle onto the shoulder, the trooper tracked down and pulled over the driver that nearly hit him.

"The driver said he was distracted because he was looking for music to play on his phone and did not notice the squad with emergency lights activated until the last minute," the Patrol reported.

The driver, who was not immediately identified, was charged with careless driving, driving after suspension, possession of marijuana in motor vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia, the Patrol said.

"Taking your eyes off the road, even for a second, can be deadly," the Patrol reported in a statement posted online along with the video clip from a traffic camera. "Avoid a close call like this one: Don’t drive distracted and move over when you see flashing lights."

Related content: UMD professor uses video game to prevent distracted driving

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