State Patrol honors Trooper Ted Foss 20 years after death

His on-duty death led to Minnesota’s ’Ted Foss Move Over’ law
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 5:06 PM CDT
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Twenty years ago Monday, family members of a Minnesota State Patrol Corporal got life-changing news.

“It only takes a moment or two to move over and prevent a tragedy like the loss of Ted,” said Andrea Walski, the wife of Ted Foss.

On August 31, 2000 Corporal Ted Foss with the Minnesota State Patrol was struck and killed during a routine traffic stop.

“It wasn’t an accident that killed Ted, it was a crash,” said COL. Matt Langer, chief of Minnesota State Patrol. “There were reasons why Ted died and it was one person’s action that created the circumstances where Ted passed away.”

The pain of the crash remains with Foss’s family, including his wife Andrea Walski.

“20 years ago today was the worst day of my life,” Walski explained. “In that moment everything changed. I had no plan b for living life without Ted.”

In honor of Foss and his sacrifice, a new refreshed sign was unveiled Monday for the stretch of highway which honors his legacy.

Minnesota passed the ’Ted Foss Move Over’ law in 2002-- something COL. Matt Langer says is important.

“When you see an emergency vehicle on the roadway you should slow down and move over,” Langer added. “It’s as simple as it gets. It’s common sense, but it saves lives.”

Under the law, a violation can exceed $100.

So far this year, 730 citations have been given out in Minnesota.

Six State Patrol vehicles have been struck in 2020 as well. Last year, that number was 47.

While not every State Trooper knew Foss personally, they say his life and legacy impacts them daily on the job including SGT. Troy Christianson.

“My very first day on patrol was actually attending Ted’s funeral,” Christianson said. “I never did know Ted, but I learned a lot of stories about Ted because later I became a trooper in his area at the Winona station.”

“[The road] really is their office,” said Langer. “When troopers are out on the road making traffic stops, we depend on other people paying attention and moving over.”

Ted’s wife celebrates the joy of Foss’s life and how he continues to impact others-- including the 83 law enforcement students who have received scholarships in his name.

She says if you won’t move over for others, do it for yourself.

“No one wants to live with the guilt of knowing that someone else’s family will never be the same,” Walski explained.

The simple action of moving over can and does save lives.

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