ROCHESTER, Minn. - Filmore Central student Kaitlyn Hansen was driving home south of Chatfield on January 28, 2016, when another vehicle swerved into her lane and hit her head-on. Investigators found that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration between .08 and .151 and was going between 85 and 95 miles per hour when she struck Kaitlyn's car.
Kaitlyn's parents, Kevin and Georgeanne Hansen, spoke at the Southeastern Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths 14th Annual Regional Workshop on Wednesday.
"If you wondered: Does it get any better? She's gone, so no," said Georgeanne, addressing the attendees of the workshop.
The Minnesota State Trooper who investigated and reconstructed Kaitlyn's accident also presented at the event. Kelley McGraw says he never fully lets go of accidents like Kaitlyn's.
"My family gets upset when we drive down the road because I'm constantly saying a prayer. At first they're like, what are you doing? Well, I worked a crash. Somebody died there," he explained.
There were several other presentations throughout the day, including: "I want to drive fast, except in front of my house - then everyone should slow down" by a MNDOT state traffic safety engineer, and "Stop the bleed - save a life" by Mayo Clinic's Dr. Sztajnkrycer.
Between 2007 and 2016, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in Minnesotans between the age of 1 and 24, according to Toward Zero Deaths. Since TZD's creation in 2003, traffic-related deaths have decreased by 45%.