Fred Statz Legal Fund
Organized by: Vicki Smith
November 12, 2012. Coach Fred Statz is killed in a traffic accident at the intersection of Old Hwy 14 and County 27.
The District court, and Appeals court are granting complete "Immunity" to the Traffic Engineer and MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation), even with files of evidence supporting they made the wrong decision, including professional testimony citing 6 counts of infractions! The lower courts write that "Immunity" for the state and employee applies, even if a bad decision results in tragic outcomes, which in this case, is Fred Statz killed in a horrendous traffic accident. This must be challenged! The Statz family is continuing to pursue justice at the Minnesota Supreme Court. They need your financial help for legal costs.
How safe are intersections? What happens when the Department of Transportation changes the intersection and doesn't tell anyone? Accidents. Horrible, horrible accidents. This is exactly what happened to my brother Fred Statz in 2012. He was going home from a the Waseca High School football banquet where he was an assistant coach and tragically lost his life. Three days before the accident, the DOT in MN changed a controlled intersection from 4-way stop to a 2-way, with stop signs on just Hwy 27 in Waseca, MN. They also left the stop bars on both Hwy 14 & 27. There was no signage, no notification to the public that this changed occurred, and the intersection already had a deadly history. All this due to an email from the Sheriff's department saying they noticed an increase in cars running the stop sign. My brother was stopped at the sign, and under the impression that it was a 4-way stop, thought the semi-truck was stopping and proceeded to cross . The driver tried to miss him, but had no luck. The 18 wheeler was fully loaded, and struck Fred's car in the drivers side, crushing it with 80,000 lbs of force at 50 mph, killing Fred on impact.
The next day, the DoT posted signs indicating a change in traffic pattern, and later removed 2 stop bars on Hwy 14. The also added additional signs stating "cross traffic does not stop" under the Stop Signs on Hwy 27. Why couldn't this have been done the day they changed the intersection?!
My brother Fred Statz was one of the most compassionate people I've ever known. He loved football and coaching, so his Bachelors degree was Math Teacher, with minor in coaching. He was planning to go to graduate school for Sports Management (coaching).
He played football from the 5th grade, through college at Minnesota State University (MSU), Mankato. His senior year at MSU, Fred won one of the highest awards from MSU Mankato football - The C.A.R.E. Award. This is voted on by all the players on the team and the coaches for the individual player who expresses the most Commitment, Accountability, Responsibility and Effort. In 2014 the coaches at MSU Mankato implemented the Fred Statz Character Award, for the player who exemplifies my brothers drive and passion for football, individual effort, team, and school.
After college, he joined a semi-pro league team, the South Central Hawgs, and helped them win a National Championship. He was a player/coach, coaching the defense on the field, and played defensive line and line backer.
He started coaching high school football at Waseca, MN. He taught those boys how to read plays, train both mentally and physically and always encouraged them. All of Waseca mourns the tragic death of Coach Statz. They tell me that Coach Statz was all heart, and tough as they come.
We are currently in the appeals process of a wrongful death suit with the state of MN. My family and the surrounding communities both feel that the state should have put signage up indicating a change of traffic pattern. And done better due diligence before making the il-fated decision to abrutly remove the stop signs from Hwy 14.
The supreme Court says there is a limit to immunity, but no actual limit has been established. Our goal is to make the limit a definite line the state traffic engineers cannot cross. We feel this would prevent a lot of accidents and heartbreak for families. We have folks in the communities in both MN and WI asking what they can do to help, and here's your chance. Please donate to help Fred's family with legal costs.