MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 37-year-old man was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide Tuesday in a February crash that left a 33-year-old Big Lake man dead.
Juan Carlos Garcia-Morales had been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and reckless driving in the Feb. 22 crash. According to court documents, Garcia-Morales ran a red light before hitting a vehicle being driven by 33-year-old Matthew Barthel of Big Lake. Barthel was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities responded to the crash at about 7:55 a.m. on Feb. 22 at the intersection of Highway 10 and County Road 17/81 in Big Lake Township. Garcia-Morales was driving a Jeep westbound on Highway 10 when he went through a red light and hit a Mazda, driven by Barthel, who has heading south on County Road 81 to his job with the Monticello School District.
Garcia-Morales suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash. Blood test results showed he had amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.
Garcia-Morales will be sentenced June 18.