TOWN OF ERIN PRAIRIE — A Woodville woman became St. Croix County’s first traffic fatality of the 2015 when the vehicle she was driving was struck by a truck at the intersection of County Roads G and T in the Town of Erin Prairie.
54-year-old Deborah Merlin Bugni of Woodville died at the scene of the accident which happened at 7:26 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13.
This intersection has been the site of several accidents over the years.
According to a report from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, Cody A. Stephenson, 27, of Lonsdale, MN was operating a 2003 Ford truck that was northbound on County Highway T when he failed to stop at the stop sign for northbound traffic on County Road T and entered the intersection where he collided with Deborah Merlin Bugni’s 2000 Cadillac Eldorado that was traveling east along County Road G.
Deborah Merlin Bugni, who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County Medial Examiner’s Office. Stephenson was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN with non-life threatening injuries. The news release did not state whether Stephenson had been belted when the accident occurred.
The Sheriff’s Office’s release noted that there was evidence of alcohol use by Cody Stephenson and that it may have been a possible factor that contributed to the crash.
New Richmond Fire and Ambulance Services, the New Richmond and Hammond Police Departments and the St. Croix County Medical Examiner’s Office all assisted at the scene and in the crash investigation which is still ongoing at this time.