Authorities say the woman who caused the fatal stroller crash tried to blame the twin

A Minnesota woman whose SUV hit a horse and buggy last fall, killing two children and injuring two others, tried to trick authorities into believing her twin sister was the driver, according to court documents.

The woman, Samantha Petersen, 35, was charged Monday with 21 counts, including criminal vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in Stewartville, Minn. It was not immediately clear whether she was in custody or had legal representation. Neither she nor her sister could be immediately reached for comment Tuesday night.

Statements made by Ms. Petersen imply that she tried to deceive investigators in order to avoid going to jail, he said. appeal filed in Fillmore County District Court.

According to the complaint, Ms. Petersen was driving a silver SUV on a country road about 100 miles southeast of Minneapolis on the morning of Sept. 25 when she hit a stroller and went into a ditch. Two children, aged 11 and 7, died from their injuries. The 13-year-old suffered facial injuries, and the nine-year-old suffered a broken shoulder, internal injuries, a concussion and bleeding in the brain, according to the report. The carriage horse also died.

According to the documents, Samantha Petersen said she called 911 and then a nurse after the crash.

Witnesses driving along the road told sheriff’s deputies that they stopped when they noticed the debris and the injured children. One witness said he noticed two women, both with blonde hair, who looked alike. One was wearing a black coat, black leggings and sandals; the other, later identified as Samantha Petersen, the driver of the silver SUV, was wearing a red Hy-Vee grocery store uniform, sheriff’s office footage later showed.

The woman in the black coat, Sarah Petersen, 35, identified herself to a sheriff’s deputy and claimed she was driving a silver SUV. When asked for her driver’s license, she said she was in a black SUV, not a silver one. collision. During an interview in the deputy’s car, she said that while she was driving home from a night shift in Rochester, Minn., she didn’t see a stroller on the road and hit it.

The deputy then left the car, but his recorder — which was left on near Ms. Petersen — recorded her telling her twin sister that she believed one of the deputies was on top of her, according to the complaint. “There’s no way they’d ever know the difference between the two of us,” she added, “so they can’t tell.”

But the fake story quickly unraveled. An employee at Hy-Vee, where both sisters worked, told investigators they received a hysterical call from Samantha Petersen the morning after the crash in which she said she was high on methamphetamine and had killed two Amish children.

She also sent a text message to another person admitting to killing the children, according to the complaint. She added: “She made Sarah come over there and plead guilty so I wouldn’t go to jail.” Public records show Samantha Petersen has prior convictions, including driving under the influence and giving a false name to police.

Another Hy-Vee employee told investigators that Sarah Petersen, who was in prison, may have taken responsibility for the accident because she believed she owed it to her sister for taking care of her children in her absence.

A review of searches on Samantha Petersen’s phone later revealed that she had looked up: “What happens if you crash an Amish buggy and kill two people” and “if you crash a buggy and kill two people you go to jail?”

The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office and the Fillmore County Prosecutor could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

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