LA CRESCENT, MINN. (WLAX/WEUX) – 20 years ago today, family members of a Minnesota State Patrol Corporal got life-changing news. First News at Nine’s Hayley Spitler has more on the anniversary of Ted Foss’s death, including how he inspired a law to help save the lives of others.
“It only takes a moment or two, to move over and prevent a tragedy like the loss of Ted,” said Ted Foss’s wife, Andrea Walski.
On August 31, 2000, Corporal Ted Foss with the Minnesota State Patrol was struck and killed during a routine traffic stop.
Colonel Matt Langer, Chief of Minnesota State Patrol said, “It wasn’t an accident that killed Ted, it was a crash. There were reasons why Ted died and it was one person’s action that created the circumstances where Ted passed away.
The pain of the crash remains with Foss’s family, including his wife, Andrea Walski.
“20 years ago today was the worst day of my life. In that moment everything changed. I had no plan B for living life without Ted,” said Walski.
In honor of Foss and his sacrifice, a new refreshed sign was unveiled Monday for the stretch of highway, which honors his legacy. Minnesota passed the “Ted Foss” Move Over Law in 2002, something Colonel Matt Langer says is important.
“When you see an emergency vehicle on the roadway that you should slow down and move over. It’s as simple as it gets. It’s common sense, but it saves lives,” said Langer.
Under the law, the violation can exceed 100 dollars. So far this year, 730 citations have been given out in Minnesota. Six State Patrol vehicles have been struck in 2020. Last year, that number was 47.
While not every state trooper knew Foss personally, they say his life and legacy impacts them daily on the job, including Sargent Troy Christianson of Minnesota State Patrol.
“My very first day on patrol was attending Ted’s funeral. I never did know ted, but I learned a lot of stories about Ted because later I became a trooper in his area at the Winona station,” said Christianson .
Minnesota State Trooper said, “That really is their office when troopers are out on the road making traffic stops, we depend on other people paying attention and moving over.”
Ted’s wife celebrates the joy of Foss’s life and how he continues to impact others. Including the 83 law enforcement students who have received scholarships in his name. She says if you won’t move over for others, do it for yourself.
“No one wants to live with the guilt of knowing that someone else’s family will never be the same,” said Walski.
The simple action of moving over can and does save lives.
In La Crescent Minnesota, Hayley Spitler, First News at Nine.
Wisconsin passed its own move over law in 2001. It also requires drivers to slow down and move out of the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when possible.