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Charges Say Driver In Fatal Crash Extremely Drunk

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 24-year-old man accused of slamming into another vehicle and killing the other driver had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for driving, Hennepin County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Michael J. Vanwagner of Coon Rapids was charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide, as well as a misdemeanor count of failing to stop for a traffic accident.

His blood-alcohol content after the July 22 crash was 0.293 percent, according to the criminal complaint. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08 percent.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Vanwagner posted a picture of his damaged car to Facebook after the crash, with a caption reading, “That’s her front end after I got done with her lol,” using the abbreviation for “laugh out loud.” There was also a smiley-face emoticon. Vanwagner confirmed to the newspaper that the post was his, but he said he wrote it before he realized he’d hit someone.

He removed the post soon after the other driver, 16-year-old Jason McCarthy of Brooklyn Center, died on July 29.

No home telephone number for Vanwagner could be found. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had a defense attorney.

The criminal complaint said he hit one woman’s car twice as they drove about 55 mph down a freeway. His vehicle came to a stop in the grass, and he allegedly backed onto the freeway again and sped away.

Witnesses said he was driving about 60 mph when he slammed into McCarthy’s vehicle as McCarthy waited at a red light.

Officers said Vanwagner smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech.

Vanwagner was driving with a revoked license and had no insurance, prosecutors said.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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