A traffic crash at the intersection of STH 64 and CTH T, just outside of New Richmond, has claimed the lives of Cody Lynn Cook-Terhume, 34, Somerset,
Thomas John Plasch, 55 and Miriam Rosal Espinosa, 46, both of Oakdale, MN. According to a July 20 release from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, on Friday, July 19, at approximately 7:1Opm, their office was dispatched to an accident at the intersection of STH 64 and CTH T, in Stanton Township, St. Croix County.
A 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven by Cook-Terhume was traveling westbound on STH 64, and struck a 2008 Lincoln passenger car, driven by Plasch, which was traveling north on CTH T and had entered the intersection. Espsinosa was a passenger in the vehicle. All three were pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner.
Traffic on STH 64 has the right of way, while those traveling on CTH T have a stop sign. However, the St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center had received a call moments before the crash reporting that the stop sign for northbound traffic on CTH T had been knocked down.
Traffic was detoured for about five hours while deputies reconstructed the crash scene.
An updated release from St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office July 22 said witnesses confirm that Plasch was stopped, even though the stop sign was down, as he was waiting for other traffic to clear the intersection. Numerous witnesses also confirm the motorcycle Cook-Terhume was operating, was "traveling at a very high rate of speed" just before the crash. The release stated witnesses, passing vehicles on the right shoulder, also saw Cook-Terhume.
While the stop sign was knocked down shortly before this crash occurred, it is not a factor in the crash.
Approximately 10 minutes before this crash, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office received a traffic complaint in the area of STH 64 and 170th Avenue of a motorcycle and operator matching the description of Cook-Terhume traveling eastbound. The witness stated the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed, passing the caller on the centerline as there was on-coming traffic, passing other vehicles on the right and on a hill.
The agencies assisting during this incident were the New Richmond Police, New Richmond EMS, Deer Park Fire and Rescue, St. Croix County Highway Department, and the St. Croix County Medical Examiner's Offices.
These are the sixth, seventh and eighth traffic fatalities recorded by St. Croix County in 2019. This incident remains under investigation.