MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Shakopee man accused of driving drunk in a fatal wrong-way crash in southern Minnesota last August pleaded guilty to charges on Monday.
The Aug. 8, 2017 crash killed 29-year-old Kacy Merseal of Des Moines, Iowa.
Brandon Dellwo, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation in the incident. His trial was set to start in two weeks.
The crash happened shortly after midnight on Highway 19 between Lonsdale and Northfield. The State Patrol says 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 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.
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.
Merseal was driving home after seeing Bruno Mars at the Xcel Energy Center.
Dellwo will be sentenced in Rice County Court on June 14.