Teen killed by semi after lying across Highway 212

A 17-year-old died this morning after lying down on Highway 212 in Carver County.

Around 7 a.m., before the sun had risen, the teenager wrapped himself up in a dark blanket and lay on the highway, according to the State Patrol. He was struck by a semi-trailer and killed.

"We're still investigating the crash," says Lt. Eric Roeske, spokesman for the State Patrol. "It's obviously a very traumatic experience -- obviously for the victim's family, but also for the truck driver involved. These things are not easy to deal with."

The young man's actions appear to have been intentional, he says. "No one forced him out there. It was actions of his own choosing."

Similar tragic incidents have been common on Minnesota highways in recent months. Since a woman was killed after walking out on I-94 last November, Roeske says, there have been four or five other similar deaths.

Eric Caine, psychiatry chair at the University of Rochester, says suicide by traffic is generally uncommon.

"That's not only dangerous for the person who's trying to die, but it's dangerous for a lot of other people too," says Caine. "It's the makings of a disaster. It's a sad event."

  • Lance L. Leider identified as man killed on I-694 Tuesday [UPDATED]
  • Melissa Lewis identified as woman killed on I-94 after laying in traffic

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