MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 24-year-old man, accused of having sex while driving, has been sentenced in the fatal crash that killed two people.
Mark Anders Chalin, of St. James, made a tearful plea before a judge sentenced him Monday in Blue Earth County Court. He said he would trade his life for the lives of his victims ‘in a heartbeat.’ Chalin was sentenced to more than four years in prison.
Authorities say Chalin was driving a Chevy Cobalt eastbound on County Road 90 when it crashed head-on with an Oldsmobile Alero heading westbound.
He pleaded guilty in October to criminal vehicular homicide via an Alford plea, which denies any wrongdoing but acknowledges the prosecution could likely prove guilt.
The driver of the Oldsmobile, 35-year-old Jonna Martin of Lakefield, and a passenger in the Chevy, 23-year-old Amber Menezes, of Mankato, where both killed in the crash.
Chalin claimed he didn’t remember anything about what led to the crash. Witnesses told investigators Menezes was straddling Chalin while he was driving on County Road 90, blocking his view of the road.
Chalin’s car slammed head-on into Martin’s vehicle. Investigators say reconstruction of the scene shows Chalin’s car was going about 60 to 65 mph and crossed in front of the Oldsmobile, that was traveling about 20 mph. The investigation also shows Chalin’s vehicle made no attempt to stop.