MINNEAPOLIS -- Former U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb
Brooks probably fell asleep at the wheel before his fatal car crash
last month, according to a report released Tuesday by the State
The coach of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team was returning from
a fund-raiser Aug. 11 in northeastern Minnesota when his minivan
went off the highway and rolled. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt and
was thrown from the vehicle.
The report confirmed Brooks wasn't drinking, speeding, talking
on his cell phone or having a health problem before the crash.
Patrol officials said weather and road conditions were ruled out as
"Based on witness statements and examination of evidence, State
Patrol investigators believe that Brooks most likely fell asleep at
the wheel," said a State Patrol statement.
"It was pretty much what we thought the report would say,"
Brooks' son, Dan, told the Star Tribune.
"The State Patrol investigated the scene, and talked to
eyewitnesses, the people my dad was with that weekend and the
coroner and concluded to the best of their ability that he fell
asleep. We would have been surprised if we learned he had been
stung by a bee or something like that."
On the day of the accident, Brooks attended a U.S. Hockey Hall
of Fame celebrity golf event in Eveleth, leaving around noon to
catch a flight from Minneapolis to Chicago.
He veered off the road in a 70-mile-per-hour zone of the freeway
near Forest Lake. The Anoka County coroner's office ruled Brooks
was thrown from his vehicle and died of blunt-force chest and
abdominal injuries. He was 66.
"We'll probably never know for sure what happened, but the
marks on the roadway indicate fatigue was involved," State Patrol
Lt. Chuck Walerius said.