Remembering Ted Foss; How a fatal motor vehicle accident 20 years ago, is impacting and saving lives now

WINONA COUNTY, Minn. (WKBT) — It may seem like common sense for drivers to move over when you see a vehicle on the shoulder of the highway.  Not following that practice can be dangerous, and can lead to deadly accidents. The Move Over Law and the life of a state trooper is still impacting lives 20 years later.

” Well, 20 years ago today was the worst day of my life,” said Andrea Walski.

Andrea Walski lost her husband to an accident on Highway I-90, 20 years ago.

“I often wonder if we had known that it would be the last day we’d see each other, or the last time we’d see each other if that morning would’ve been different,” said Walski.

In the years following Ted’s death, the Ted Foss Move Over Law was created.

“I remember very little about the next few days. But I did remember that there were moments of joy amidst the sorrow,” said Walski.

“The law is really common sense. All it says is when you see an emergency vehicle on the roadway, you should slow down and move over. It’s a simple as it gets and it’s common sense but it saves lives,” said Colonel Matt Langer, Chief of Minnesota State Patrol.

The law requires, when possible, for drivers to move over as far as one lane away from stopped vehicles with flashing lights.

“It honors Corporal Foss’ sacrifice and it honors the reason that he died,” said Langer.  “And a lot of people worked really hard to take a common sense behavioral driving piece and turn it into law.”

The law, along with a new sign at the Dresbach Rest Stop are meant to honor his life.

“My very first day on patrol was actually attending Ted’s funeral,” said Sergeant Troy Christianson, of Minnesota State Patrol.

“I urge all drivers to be alert, to move over, and slow down when they see an emergency vehicle, or a construction vehicle at the side of the road. It only takes a moment or two to move over, and prevent a tragedy, like the loss of Ted,” said Walski.

“I heard a lot of stories about him from his partners and just how he was a good trooper,” said Christianson.

“Ted would be especially proud of the Move Over Law that bares his name,” said Walski.

Law enforcement officials say there will be an increase of enforcement of the Move Over Law on Minnesota roadways.  The fine for failing to switch lanes can exceed $100.  In Minnesota, there have been almost 740 Move Over citations just this year.