Identical Twins Charged After Trading Places In Fatal Crash

Two sisters have been charged with several felonies after one collided with a horse-drawn buggy, killing two children, and the other attempted to take her place and blame for the tragedy.

Samantha and Sarah Peterson, 35-year-old identical twins from Minnesota, stirred up months of confusion as police investigated a fatal crash that killed two sisters, Wilma and Irma Miller, who were seven and 11 years old, respectively, at the time of their deaths. Their nine and 13-year-old siblings were injured but survived the crash.

The Peterson twins are said to have switched places and passed the blame after one of them crashed into the Amish carriage carrying the children on Sept. 25, 2023. According to prosecutors, the SUV that caused the deaths of the two young girls was driven by Samantha, not her sister Sarah, who reportedly took responsibility for the incident at the scene.

Court documents show that Samantha’s driver’s license was expired at the time of the crash and that she had no insurance for her vehicle. Following the investigation, Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge told the public that Sarah had been at the site for “a short time” prior to police arrival. He said this provided enough time for Sarah to falsely claim responsibility for the crash and “mislead the investigation.”

Law enforcement officials were put on the trail of the plot to switch places when “inconsistencies” kept coming up in the police investigation. Sarah told officers when they arrived on scene that she was the driver and had crashed into the carriage.

Court documents also specified that Samantha was under the influence of drugs when she hit the buggy and feared going to jail. Sarah, who had recently served time herself, reportedly felt some responsibility to take the blame since her sister had cared for her children when Sarah was in prison.

The lengthy investigation was concluded in Jan. 2024, four months after the fatal crash occurred. It was then left up to the Fillmore County Attorney’s Office to determine whether to file criminal charges against the sisters.

In early February, Sarah was dealt charges of 16 different felonies including criminal vehicular homicide and operation and aiding an offender. Her charges are related to her attempts to mislead investigators and take false blame for the crash.

Samantha was charged with 21 felonies which, in addition to criminal vehicular homicide and operation, include driving under the influence, reckless driving, and failing to provide proof of insurance.

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