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Crow Wing County boy killed in pedestrian-car crash

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 at approximately 2:54 p.m. the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office received a report of a car/pedestrian crash on County Road 3, in Merrifield. Crow Wing County deputies responded to the scene along with other emergency response personnel. Jack Larson, age 3, of Buffalo, MN was pronounced dead at the scene. Larson, who was crossing CR 3, was struck by a southbound vehicle driven byu a 66-year-old Cross Lake, Minn. According to witnesses, several children were crossing CR 3 from east to west, south of the intersection with Crystal Lake Road in Merrifield. Vehicle traffic had come to a stop in both directions, with four or five vehicles stopped in each lane. Three children, ages six to fourteen, had crossed the road in front of the stopped vehicles. As the two remaining children began to cross the road, a southbound vehicle began to pass the stopped southbound vehicles on the right, striking Larson as he crossed in front of the stopped traffic. According to witnesses and evidence collected at the scene, Larson was on the west shoulder of the road at the time he was struck by the vehicle. The driver was arrested and booked into the Crow Wing County Jail on charges of criminal vehicular homicide. Formal charges are expected Tuesday. Sheriff Todd Dahl wants to take this opportunity to remind motorists that passing on the right is illegal when it requires driving onto the shoulder of the roadway, whether paved or unpaved, or off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway. "This is a violation that we seem to be seeing more and more of" says Dahl, "and it is always dangerous. If there are cars stopped in the road in front of you, they probably have a good reason for stopping. The few seconds you save by passing on the right is not worth the lives you place at risk by doing so."