MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 29-year-old Shakopee man was allegedly over twice the legal limit in a weekend crash that killed an Iowa lawyer in southern Minnesota.
Brandon Dellwo is charged with one count of second-degree criminal vehicular homicide in the early Sunday morning crash that killed Kacy Merseal, according to charges filed in Rice County.
The State Patrol says that Dellwo was driving a Lincoln Navigator the wrong way on Highway 19 near Northfield when he slammed head-on into a Volkswagen sedan driven by Merseal.
The 29-year-old from Des Moines, Iowa, suffered fatal injuries. The criminal complaint said she had to be cut out of the car. Her passenger, 30-year-old Tanya Marie Von Weine, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
According to a criminal complaint, a concerned driver called 911 to report that the Navigator was driving the wrong way on Highway 19. The caller followed the SUV and witnesses it collided moments later with Merseal’s sedan, which reportedly swerved just before impact.
When a State Patrol trooper arrived at the scene, he found that Dellwo was in the SUV’s passenger seat, although all signs suggested that he had been driving, the complaint states.
The trooper noted the Dellwo smelled strongly of alcohol, and a blood test later showed his blood alcohol level to be .226, more than twice the legal limit.
While Dellwo has no history of DWIs, his record shows 14 citations since 2004, mostly for speeding. His criminal record has two alcohol-related citations: one for underage consumption and one for loitering with an open bottle.
If convicted of the criminal vehicular homicide charge, Dellwo faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
Merseal, a recent graduate of Drake University, was driving home after seeing Bruno Mars at the Xcel Energy Center. Her fiancé wrote on Facebook that she had a great day before the fatal crash.