2012-05-17 / Crow Wing Currents

Cushing woman dies in early morning vehicle accident

Next-door neighbors share memories

A Cushing woman was found dead at the scene of a motor vehicle accident that occurred early May 9, in Scandia Valley Township.

The victim was identified as 50-year-old Stephanie Crawford.

According to their report, the Morrison’s County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the accident (on 320th St. about two miles east of Hwy 10) at approximately 4:20 a.m. Other responders included Scandia Valley Fire and Rescue; and Gold Cross Ambulance.

On their arrival, personnel found a 2001 Buick Regal that had struck a tree in the north ditch of 320th St. The driver of the vehicle, Crawford, was found still in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. She was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Crawford was taken to the Ramsey Co. Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of the accident.

Crawford’s next-door neighbors, Brad and Mary Hansen, said they were devastated to learn of the accident.

“She was so kind, caring, genuine, funloving and had the most beautiful heart and smile,” Mary Hansen said recently, adding that their kids adored her and even their dog, Bear, has been sad since their neighbor died. “Stephanie was the sort of person who would jump on the trampoline with the kids and play with the dog. She was always baking things for our family.”

Knowing the Hansen’s son was a picky eater, Stephanie Crawford recently made him something she thought he might like: manicotti. “I never got the chance to tell her that he loved it. I regret that,” Mary

Hansen said.

Brad Hansen noted that Crawford had celebrated her 50th birthday just a few days before the accident. “She died on her husband Jim’s birthday,” he said, adding that it appeared Stephanie Crawford had been shopping just prior to the accident. “They found a receipt from WalMart and the time on it was about an hour before she crashed,” he added.

Mary Hansen noted that her neighbor often worked nights (she was employed at

Riverside Assisted Living in Pillager); and although she wasn’t working that night, she was known to keep those kinds of hours on her ‘off time.’

Although no one knows why her car hit that tree, the Hansens wonder if their neighbor might have fallen asleep at the wheel. She was just 100 yards from home.

“Something like this really puts things into perspective,” Brad Hansen said. “Makes you think about what’s important in life.”

“Stephanie meant a lot to our family and we are grateful she blessed our lives for the last seven years,” Mary Hansen added. “I don’t understand why God took her so soon but I thank Him that I was honored to know her at least for a little while.”

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