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.

garcia morales big lake crash Driver Convicted In Crash That Killed Big Lake Man

(credit: Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office)

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.


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