Name released for other driver in fatal crash

Maria Sutton, 32, Minot, has been identified by Minot Police Department Chief Jason Olson as the other driver in a fatal crash on North Broadway in Minot during the early morning of June 23.

Robert Morrison, 49, Westhope, died from injuries suffered in a head-on vehicle collision with Sutton.

It had been 17 days from the incident until the release of Sutton’s name. Names have been released much sooner in similar fatal accidents.

Olson said the name had not been released immediately following the incident because Sutton and her passenger, as well as Morrison, had been taken to the hospital. It’s standard for the names of those injured not to be released pending notification of the family.

The next day, when Morrison’s name was released, Olson said that Sutton’s name should have also been released and the fact that it hadn’t was an “oversight.”

Media inquiry, as well as an inquiry from a private citizen to the desk of Mayor Curt Zimbelman, on Tuesday was the first Olson said he had heard of the oversight.

In a June 27 article, The Minot Daily News reported that an investigating officer with the Minot Police Department said that the then-unidentified Sutton had been drinking that night, although no charges were filed for inebriation.

It is believed by investigating officers that Sutton had performed a U-turn onto another lane of travel in the same direction, forgetting that U.S. Highway 83, which is called Broadway within city limits, is a divided highway, when the head-on collision occurred. In addition to Morrison’s death, both Sutton and a passenger in her vehicle were transported to Trinity with injuries.

The Minot Police continue to list the accident as being under active investigation. When that investigation is over, the results will be handed over to the Ward County State’s Attorney’s office for review. That review will determine which, if any, charges will be filed in the case.