#eyesUP: Fairgoers see effects of distracted driving

The Minnesota State Patrol is educating fairgoers about the dangers of distracted driving by showing a smashed van that was caught in the middle of a deadly crash.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Monday was Minnesota State Patrol Day at the Minnesota State Fair.

People checked out the events at the Expo Place, including vintage trooper vehicles, the State Patrol helicopter, watched K-9 demonstrations, but also learned about distracted driving.

Troopers gave information to parents and teen drivers educating them about the problem.

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One way the effects of distracted driving was shown was through a smashed van. It was on display for fairgoers, along with the story of a Becker, Minn father and daughter who were killed in the van. The Minnesota State Patrol says a woman was driving in a separate vehicle, writing Facebook messages to friends when she ran a red light and smashed into the van.

Lt. Tiffani Nielson hopes people who saw the display will think twice about driving distracted.

"We'll continue to talk about the families that have experienced this. I think people need to feel that personal connection sometimes to make decisions. There are always new drivers on the roads so we're always going to be doing educational events to try to keep people with the awareness that bad decisions do have deadly consequences," she said.

On Wednesday, after the 11:00 a.m. newscast, join Alicia Lewis and a panel of experts at the KARE Barn to talk about distracted driving and how we can make changes in our driving habits.

If you'd like to take our pledge to stop driving distracted, text "eyesup" to 25543.