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Woman who caused death of Kandiyohi girl sentenced to 41 months

MARSHALL -- Courtney Voorhees, 30, of Cottonwood, was sentenced Tuesday in Lyon County District Court in Marshall to 41 months in prison on charges of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular injury in the death of Morgan Leigh Cline, 17, of Kandiyohi.

Cline and a companion had pulled off the roadway of Minnesota Highway 23 near Cottonwood at around 9:30 p.m. Nov. 12 to talk and find a CD. The emergency signals on the 2002 Saturn that Cline had been driving were flashing when they were struck from behind by a 1999 Subaru Forester driven by Voorhees.

Voorhees had an open bottle of vodka in her coat when she arrived at the hospital in Marshall, where a test indicated she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.25, three times the limit.

At the time of her death, Cline was a Willmar Senior High School student and was enrolled in the post-secondary education option at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Voorhees is at least the fifth person in one year in Lyon County District Court to be charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular injury. Many of those have involved alcohol.

She has been sober for seven months and is active in Alcohol Anonymous groups.

"I believe Morgan saved my life," Voorhees said at her sentencing. "I found sobriety. I found Christ and forgiveness."