LE SUEUR —
A crash north of Kasota that killed a Gaylord woman in February has resulted in felony charges against the driver, who was allegedly speeding and had been drinking.
Within seconds before a 2009 Dodge Avenger left a curvy portion of Rabbit Road and crashed into a tree, it was traveling well over the speed limit, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Le Sueur County District Court. Investigators suspect 35-year-old Coy Charles Hewitt of Fairfax was driving the car when it crashed at about 2:50 a.m. on Feb. 12.
Hewitt was traveling north on Le Sueur County Road 45, commonly known as the Rabbit Road, between Kasota and St. Peter, the complaint said. An internal computer taken from the car showed it was traveling 85 mph within five seconds before the crash. A reconstruction of the crash also showed the car was traveling at least 63 mph before its driver hit the brakes.
The speed limit on the section of road where the crash occurred switches from 40 mph to 55 mph, but a curve warning sign also informs drivers that the suggested speed limit is 30 mph. Hewitt allegedly lost control while driving through the curve, resulting in the car leaving the road and hitting a tree.
Hewitt and his four passengers were all taken to various hospitals. Elizabeth Ann Risk, 21, of Gaylord was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center, where she died as a result of her injuries. Jennifer Ann McCormick, 27, of Arlington was flown to the same hospital and treated for life threatening injuries, the complaint said.
A felony charge of criminal vehicular injury was filed as a result of Risk’s death and a felony charge of criminal vehicular injury was filed as a result of McCormick’s injuries.
Two gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular homicide also were filed as a result of minor injuries to the two remaining passengers. They were 24-year-old Katherine Meredith Risk of Kasota and 40-year-old Kerry Ann Olson of Le Center. They were both treated at the hospital in St. Peter.
Hewitt’s first court appearance is scheduled for July 10.