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Teen charged in deadly distracted-driving crash in Elk River

September 28, 2018

A 17-year-old driver allegedly distracted by her cellphone during an Elk River crash that killed an married couple on their motorcycle is facing criminal charges.

The girl, who authorities did not identify because she is a minor, was charged Thursday in Sherburne County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

Authorities say the teen was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on the evening of June 15 when her phone buzzed. She picked it up to see if she was receiving an incoming call or text and swerved into oncoming traffic, striking a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The collision killed Steven Nanney, an off-duty Blaine police officer, and his wife, Marilyn Susie Nanney, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Both were 51. They lived in Ham Lake.

An investigation determined that the girl was traveling 63 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone at the time of the crash. More than half the truck had crossed the centerline. She admitted to police that shed been distracted by her phone.

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