State Patrol explains its error

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Minnesota State Patrol issued a statement Tuesday afternoon on false information the law enforcement agency made in its report to the media about the March 28 collision that led to the death of 20-year-old Janelle Reule of Albert Lea.

The State Patrol mistakenly reported that Reule ran a red light. Because the State Patrol was the investigating police agency, the Tribune had little choice but to trust the State Patrol&8217;s report.

In fact, she did not run the red light. The State Patrol fixed its report Sunday morning. The Tribune printed the new report Monday.

Email newsletter signup

Capt. Randy Slinger of the

Minnesota State Patrol, District 2100 in Rochester, authored the statement:

&8220;Unfortunate miscommunications within our office led to erroneous information being entered into our media Web site regarding the fatal crash that occurred on March 28 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 and West Main Street in Albert Lea. The inaccurate information was then used by the Albert Lea Tribune in subsequent stories. Though we strive to enter the most accurate information possible, mistakes can happen, and in this case did. There wasn&8217;t ever any confusion on the part of the investigating troopers as to what had happened in this crash but in how it was reported to the media. The change or update on our Web site was necessary to accurately reflect the details of this crash once we realized the mistake that we made in the information that had been entered and provided to the media. I am most troubled by the impact that this error may have had on the drivers involved in this crash and their families, and for that I&8217;m truly sorry.&8221;