A criminal complaint filed Wednesday morning, July 2, in Rock County District Court sheds light on the tragic accident that took the life of a Steen woman June 30.
Thirty-three-year-old Andrea Boeve, Steen, died around 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 30, when a pickup struck her from behind while she bicycled along Highway 270 with her two children in tow.
The driver of the pickup, 25-year-old Christopher Weber, Hills, has since been charged with criminal vehicular homicide as the result of “gross negligence” for being on his cell phone while driving.
The complaint details the events of the tragedy as they unfolded at the scene.
It states that a Minnesota State Patrol officer was the first on the scene, having just traveled through the Steen area only 10 minutes earlier.
When he arrived, he observed three people at the top of the ditch, two of whom were engaged in CPR on Boeve.
The officer grabbed his medical bag and approached when the man doing chest compressions inquired if the officer had an airway device.
The Trooper inserted an oral airway on Boeve and checked for a pulse, finding none. He then took over artificial breathing for the man who was later identified as Weber, the pickup driver who struck Boeve on her bike.
Medical personnel arrived and took over, but the complaint states that no signs of life were observed during this time.
The children had been taken across the road to their paternal grandparents’ home, and the complaint states that the Trooper spoke with a very distraught man who identified himself as Matt Boeve, the husband of the victim.
A helicopter had been paged for transport, but it later became clear the victim was deceased.
Deputy Dan Fick, Hills, and Glen Boeve, Andrea’s father-in-law, together informed Matt Boeve that his wife had died and assisted in making arrangements with Jurrens Funeral Home.
Meanwhile, the children, 4-year-old Claire Boeve, and 1-year-old Mallorie Boeve, were taken to Sanford Luverne where Claire was treated for a broken rib and punctured lung and Mallorie was treated for minor injuries and released.
The State Patrol officer investigating the scene noticed three lug nut covers were gone off the front right tire and observed the mirror hanging from the side.
The complaint states that he also “observed scuff marks that appeared to match the helmet of the deceased victim.”
Another Trooper began accident reconstruction and observed that the right tire of the child trailer had been in the gravel, indicating that Andrea’s bike would have been as close to the side of the road as possible.
No skid marks were observed prior to the impact site.
After being read his Miranda rights, the pickup driver, Weber, agreed to a recorded interview.
He said he hadn’t seen the bike at all, “only realizing something when he heard a thump from the collision,” the complaint stated.
Weber provided the following information.
“I came over the hill, I was on my cell phone at the time, I don’t remember seeing the gal or the bikes at all, then all the sudden I heard a thump like it hit something,” Weber was recorded as saying.
“I looked in my rear-view mirror I saw the bicycle, I pulled over as fast as I can, and ran back toward the bike where I saw the gal in the ditch.”
He said he went over to her immediately.
“I thought she was by herself and I was checking for a pulse, making sure she was still breathing.”
He said a couple of other people (one was Brittany Boeve, who had been behind the pickup and saw it strike the bike) showed up soon thereafter and called 911 and got the children to safety.
“I was on my mobile banking listening to the voice recorder,” Weber said. “I was listening to the menu options, listening for a touch tone, which one I need to push. … It is voice activated and/or push button. I prefer the push button. I was not pushing a button at the time.”
When asked if it would be fair to say he was looking at his phone and not the road, Weber reportedly replied that “yes, it would be fair to say, it could be.”
He then agreed to have his phone and vehicle searched, and then was arrested and transported to the Nobles County Jail.
The complaint charges Weber with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation, for operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.
Weber’s permanent address is Madison, S.D., but he had recently moved to Hills from Brandon.
His first appearance in Rock County District Court was Wednesday, July 2, when he was formally charged. His next court date is July 14.