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Wis. crash victim reportedly swerved to avoid Minn. motorist on cellphone, authorities say

TROY, Wis. -- A Wisconsin girl killed in a crash last week swerved off the road to avoid being struck by another motorist on her cellphone, according to new information released Monday by St. Croix County authorities.

The victim, identified by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office as 16-year-old Kyra F. Hayes of Beldenville, died Friday in a crash on Highway 35 in Troy. She was not wearing a seat belt, according to the sheriff’s office news release.

Deputies said Hayes was driving a northbound 2004 Oldsmobile Bravada that left the roadway at 3:21 p.m. and crashed along Highway 35. Hayes was thrown from the vehicle, which rolled several times.

A preliminary investigation revealed Hayes’ vehicle was nearly struck by another northbound vehicle moments before the crash. The driver of that car, identified as 21-year-old Makellia S. Jensen, was witnessed with both hands on a cellphone “seconds before the crash,” according to the release.

Deputies said Jensen, of Big Lake, Minn., turned around after the crash and returned to the scene. She and a passenger, 22-year-old Minneapolis resident Kalen L. Chase, were not injured.

The sheriff’s office did not state what, if any, consequences Jensen might face as a result of the incident.

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