Driver In Fatal St. Paul Crash Charged
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Everything in Houa Yang’s life changed around 2:30 a.m. Friday when her husband – the father of their unborn child — died in a car crash in St. Paul.
“He was really excited,” said Yang, who is due in April. “Every day, he tells me that he can’t wait to see the baby and how we only have two or three months to see the baby.”
Her husband, 29-year-old Tue Vu, was sitting in the left back seat. His cousin, 28-year-old Chue Vu, was sitting next to him. Both were killed immediately when the car driven by their cousin, 21-year-old Teng Vang, crashed into an empty parked truck in the East Phalen-Prosperity Heights neighborhood.
Another passenger and friend, 30-year-old, Chee Yang, was hurt and taken to the hospital, but he’s expected to be OK.
Wayne Kaliszewski, who lives near the scene of the accident, said the car, a Honda Civic, landed in a yard across Hazelwood Street after totaling the parked Dodge Dakota pickup.
“Honestly, it sounded like a snow plow was coming by clearing snow,” Kaliszewski said.
Vang (pictured below) was arrested and charged Friday afternoon with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. He has a previous conviction for driving under the influence.
Investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
According to a criminal complaint, officers smelled alcohol on Vang when they got to the scene. When on the way to Regions Hospital, Vang reportedly told officers he had “about five Bud Light beers ” at Moonshine.
Vang’s blood was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.
On Friday afternoon, family members of the driver and the victims showed up to the accident site. But they didn’t walk away with any answers as to why Tue, the father-to-be, and Chue, a father of four, died.
According to the complaint, both Tue and Chue had to be identified by their tattoos. They suffered severe head trauma, and their faces were unrecognizable to authorities.
Vang, the man charged, reportedly spoke to his father on the phone, to ask for suggestions for a lawyer. While on the phone, he was heard saying, “Jail is candy. Two to three years. I don’t care,” the complaint said.
He then yelled into the phone, saying there had been deaths, at which point authorities advised him to put down the phone and call an attorney.
If convicted, Vang faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.