Woman accused of swapping places with twin after fatal crash

By John Mercury March 6, 2024

A woman swapped places with her twin sister after she killed two children by crashing into a horse-drawn carriage, police have alleged.

Prosecutors have alleged that Samantha Jo Petersen, 35, was driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and rear-ended the carriage in Minnesota.

Her twin, Sarah Beth Petersen, initially told officers at the scene she was at fault for the crash, which took place on 25 September last year.

Wilma Miller, 7, and Irma Miller, 11, were killed in the incident. Their siblings, aged 9 and 13, were seriously injured and taken to hospital.

Authorities said in a criminal complaint, filed in the state’s district court, that both sisters were at the scene of the crash in Stewartville when officials arrived.

They added that after speaking to Sarah Petersen in his vehicle, a deputy recorded her telling Samantha Petersen that “there’s no way they would ever know the difference between the two of us so they can’t tell”.

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Police also alleged Samantha Petersen called her place of work’s human resource department after the incident, where she said: “I f***** up… I just killed two Amish people.

“They were kids… I just hit a f****** buggy… I’m not sober.”

Samantha Petersen. Pic: Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office
Samantha Petersen was previously convicted in October 2015, and in August 2018. Pic: Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office

They also found various online searches on Samantha Petersen’s phone including “what happens if you get in an accident with an Amish buggy and kill two people” and “how to lock an iphone cops have”.

Samantha Peterson has been charged 21 times, including for criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of the crash, and will appear in court on 25 March.

The complaint noted she was previously convicted of drink-driving in October 2015, and of impaired driving under a controlled substance in August 2018.

Sarah Petersen has been charged 16 times according to Fox News, including for aiding and abetting and trying to take responsibility for a crime.


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