Cloquet Police Officer Mark Laine Was Drunk When He Caused Fatal Car Crash

Laine's BAC was .178 at the time of the crash

Laine's BAC was .178 at the time of the crash

On March 5 Fay Dahlman was driving in to work the night shift at Community Memorial Hospital, where she worked as a nurse for the last 12 years.

Just after 11 p.m. she passed North Road, heading south by the regionally famous Gordy's Hi-Hat drive-in restaurant and just a few blocks away from the hospital. Suddenly, a brand-new Ford F-150 pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed into her 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe head-on.

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The violent crash killed Dahlman and the driver of the pickup, an off-duty Cloquet police officer named Mark Laine.

Laine, 49, worked for the Cloquet police force for most of his life, getting his start as a rookie officer when he was 22 years old.

The sudden, tragic loss of two beloved members of the small Iron Range community led the 9 o'clock news the following day.


While the community grieved, an investigation into the crash was launched, and yesterday the St. Louis County Medical Examiner announced Laine had a blood-alcohol content of .178 at the time of the crash, more than twice the legal limit.

Cloquet Police did not return a request for comment and State Patrol spokesperson Neil Dickenson said he couldn't talk about the case, because the investigation is still ongoing.

A voicemail left at Dahlman's house was also not returned.

This was not the first time Laine got in trouble with alcohol. Court records show he pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in 2003.

Send news tips to Ben Johnson.