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Preston, MN (KROC-AM News) - A long list of charges was filed today against the 35-year-old woman who was allegedly driving the SUV but smashed into an Amish buggy near Stewartville last September.

Two young children, 7-year-old Wilma and 11-year-old Irma Miller, were killed in the collision. Two other siblings suffered serious injuries. The crash occurred on Fillmore County Road 1 while the children were headed to their school near Stewartville.

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The criminal complaint against Samantha Jo Petersen charges her with 8 counts of criminal vehicular homicide and 8 felony counts of criminal vehicular operation. She also faces 2 gross misdemeanor counts of DWI and several misdemeanor traffic offenses stemming from the tragic incident.

T.J. Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
T.J. Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
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The court document indicates a blood sample obtained from Petersen during the execution of a search warrant the day after the deadly crash tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine, and Delta-9 THC. The search warrant also led to the seizure of her cell phone.

(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
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Much of the complaint details how Petersen and her twin sister allegedly conspired to deceive Fillmore County investigators into believing that Sarah Peterson was driving the SUV when it collided with the buggy. The evidence includes an audio recording of the two women talking at the scene of the crash and text message conversations with the store manager and human resources manager for a Hy-Vee Store in Rochester where both sisters worked.

amantha Petersen complaint-Fillmore County Court
Samantha Petersen complaint-Fillmore County Court
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The charges also describe a phone conversation between the store's human resource manager and Samantha Petersen. The HR manager told investigators she sounded hysterical and stated "I'm not sober" after she stated that she had just hit a buggy and killed two Amish people. According to the HR manager, Petersen indicated that she was "high on meth."

Samantha Petersen complaint-Fillmore County Court
Samantha Petersen complaint-Fillmore County Court
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The evidence also includes tracking data from Samatha Petersen's cell phone. The criminal complaint says an investigator reviewed it and found that it showed her phone was at the scene of the fatal crash just moments before it was reported to the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office around 8:25 AM on September 25, 2023.

The criminal complaint also includes a review of Petersen's criminal history. It shows two previous DWI convictions in Mower County in 2015 and 2018. She was also convicted of giving a false name to a police officer in Olmsted County in 2007.

Peterson is scheduled to make her first appearance on the charges in Fillmore County Court on March 25th.

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Gallery Credit: T.J. Leverentz

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