Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold, visibly shaken during a press conference, announced the tragic death of Officer Bill Mathews, “It is with a heavy heart I announce the death of one of Wayzata’s finest, Officer William Mathews.”

Bill Mathews Wayzata Police Officer

Wayzata Police Department Officer Bill Matthews. Sumbitted photo.
Wayzata Police Department Officer Bill Matthews. Sumbitted photo.

At approximately 12:30pm on September, 8, 2017, Mathews was struck and killed while responding to a 911 call to clear debris from Highway 12 by Beth Freeman, age 54 of Mound who was driving a borrowed silver Nissan Mirrano.

Emergency responders including the Wayzata Fire Department and EMT’s descended onto Highway 12, between 101 and the footbridge, where the accident took place to administer CPR and First Aid. The Minnesota State Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff, and Police from Wayzata, Plymouth and Minnetonka closed the freeway in both directions, snarling traffic for hours.

An Air Care ambulance landed on the freeway, transporting Mathews to North Memorial in Robbinsdale where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Beth Freeman of Mound, MN.
Beth Freeman of Mound, MN.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek announced at the press conference, “The suspect in this case is a woman identified as Beth Freeman. She’s 54 years old, she’s from Mound, MN, she was cooperative at the scene, and she will be booked into Hennepin County Jail.”

At the time of the accident, Freeman’s license to operate a motor vehicle had been been revoked, and records from the State of Minnesota indicate she has a laundry list of convictions including driving under the influence, aggravated driving, illegal passing and speeding.

Court records for Beth Ilene Freeman.

Mathews was 47 years old and had served on the Wayzata Police Department for 9 years. He is survived by his wife and 7 year old son. Stay tuned to Wayzata.com on this developing story.

Below our the initial reports from the story:


Westbound 394 appears to have been closed, County Road 15 is closed due to a vehicle plunging into Brown’s Bay.

Eyewitnesses indicated that multiple crime labs may be in route, or on site, although that information has not been confirmed by authorities.

Other unconfirmed reports indicate that an air ambulance was involved.


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