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Charges: Man struck and killed juvenile bicyclist in Scott County

WCCO Digital Update: Morning of July 5, 2022
WCCO Digital Update: Morning of July 5, 2022 01:15

CEDAR LAKE TOWNSHIP, Minn. -- A 72-year-old man is charged with vehicular homicide after allegedly hitting and killing a 15-year-old bicyclist on the evening of July 1.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to an accident involving a vehicle and a bicyclist near the intersection of Zachary Avenue and 260th Street West around 7:14 p.m. last Friday. The person who reported the accident said the suspect vehicle had left the scene.

Officers confirmed the victim's death and began to establish the scene when a man, later identified as Joseph Friedges, approached a deputy, saying he had been involved in the accident and hit the victim on the bicycle.

Friedges stated he was heading eastbound on 260th Street approaching Zachary Avenue with his cruise control set to 55 miles per hour. He says he sneezed and went into the south ditch, not realizing he hit anyone until he looked back and saw the body in the road.

Officers speaking to Friedges say they noted an odor of alcohol and observed red eyes, as well as a box of Smirnoff in the back seat of Friedges' car.

Friedges admitted to drinking a couple of Sprite and vodkas a couple of hours before driving and agreed to perform a field sobriety test. A preliminary breath test showed a result of .05 BAC.

Officers say they believe the victim was near the shoulder of Zachary Avenue and 260th Street East when he was struck.

Police say the vehicle, while traveling eastbound on 260th Avenue, crossed into the westbound lane and into the north ditch before reentering the roadway and striking the victim.

Braxton Sorenson Sorenson Family

The victim was identified by family as Braxton Sorenson, who they said was a "wonderful kid with great plans for the future." The family said in a statement that he loved to go to church and was a member of the Civilian Air Patrol.

Friedges is set to appear in court on July 18, where he faces charges of vehicular homicide - operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and operating a vehicle with negligence - under the influence of alcohol.

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