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St. Paul Artist Struck and Killed by Garbage Truck

Jean Matzke, 70, was walking her dog east on the sidewalk along 5th Street. As she went to cross Sibley Street, toward Mears Park, she was struck by a garbage truck turning left from 5th Street north onto Sibley. She was struck in the crosswalk at 5:53 a.m. Friday morning.

Jean Matzke was known and loved by a wide variety of people. Most recently, she has been known in the neighborhood as a dog walker and a dog lover. Two years ago she adopted an injured boxer. She formerly owned an art gallery in St. Cloud, was an instructor at St. Benedict’s, and was a top textile artist in Minnesota. She earned many accolades for her textiles.

A full investigation is under way and could take 4-6 weeks, according to police spokesman Sgt. Paul Schnell. The accident occurred 30 minutes after sunrise and that may have played a factor. Many times drivers, going east, are blinded by the sun. Officer Schnell said the driver was obviously distraught. The garbage truck driver was tested for drugs and alcohol, but showed no signs of impairment. He had a green light. It is unclear whether Ms. Matzke had the “walk” light.

In a crash involving a 60,000 pound garbage truck, no one comes out unscathed. A pedestrian accident with a garbage truck is the worst case scenario. The losses are staggering, impacting many people through the ripple effect:

  • 2 lives changed — one lost, one bruised and frightened
  • 2 families hurt and grieving
  • 2 communities hurt and grieving

Victims Have Rights

If your family has been impacted by a garbage truck accident, seek legal consultation. You have options. A Minneapolis personal injury attorney at TSR Injury Law, can give advice, handle the paperwork, and file your claim. Our partners are skilled, aggressive, trial-tested litigators with years of experience with garbage truck accidents, car accidents, and motorcycle accidents. They are consistently named Super Lawyers by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and Law & Politics. Call (612) TSR-TIME or submit our online free consultation form.

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