MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A night out at the Bruno Mars concert ended tragically early Sunday morning when a 29-year-old attorney was killed by an alleged drunken driver.
Police say Kacy Merseal, of Des Moines, Iowa, was killed when the Volkswagen sedan she was driving was hit head-on by a Lincoln Navigator going the wrong way on Highway 19 near Northfield.
The driver of the Navigator, 29-year-old Brandon Dellwo, of Shakopee, had been drinking, according to authorities.
The State Patrol says Merseal and her friend, 30-year-old Tanya Marie Von Weine, were driving home after the concert at the Xcel Energy Center.
Von Weine suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash and was treated and released from a local hospital.
Merseal was killed. The driver’s side of her Volkswagen sedan was crushed in the head-on collision.
The 29-year-old attorney was engaged to Vithoun Saysopha.
“She was the greatest person I ever met,” he said.
A recent graduate of Drake University Law School, Merseal chose to work as a public defender because she wanted to help others, her fiancé said.
“We were ready to start a family, have a home,” Saysopha said.
The State Patrol says moments before Sunday morning’s crash another driver called 911 to say they had almost been hit by a wrong way driver.
But by the time they reported it, the fatal crash had already occurred.
Dellwo’s driving record shows 14 citations since 2004, mostly for speeding. His criminal record shows a list of minor run-ins with the law, including two alcohol citations: one for underage consumption and one for loitering with an open bottle.
Saysopha wrote on Facebook that Merseal had a great time at the Bruno Mars concert, adding that “the fact that her last day on Earth was a great day for her is one of the only things keeping me going right now.”
He wants everyone to remember how his fiancée’s life was taken.
“If you go out and have a drink, that is fine, but be responsible, call someone, call a cab,” Saysopha said. “It’s not worth it to get in an accident. So many more people are going to be affected than you could imagine.”
Dellwo suffered minor injuries in that crash.
He is now being held in the Rice County Jail and is charged with criminal vehicular homicide.