A 21-year-old driver was extremely drunk when he crashed his pickup truck over the weekend in Forest Lake and killed one of his passengers, according to charges.
Trent P.R. Jeans of Forest Lake appeared in court Tuesday after being charged Monday with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the wreck Sunday that killed 31-year-old Courtney L. White.
Jeans remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail; his next hearing is Nov. 15. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
A preliminary breath test administered by law enforcement found that Jeans' blood alcohol content was .213%, more than 2 ½ times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the charges read.
The charges say Jeans was drinking earlier that day in Forest Lake at the Old Log Cabin, where White worked.
"On Sunday evening a longtime co-worker and good friend lost her life in a tragic accident," a notice Monday from the bar began on Facebook. "We are all devastated by this event and our hearts and prayers are with her family, husband, daughters and parents. We will be closed for a few days to process this heartbreaking news."
According to the criminal complaint:
Police officers were called to North Shore Trail and N. 230th Street, where they saw Jeans' heavily damaged pickup truck. White was dead at the scene. Jeans and two other passengers, Karl Keller and Alissa Jesmer, suffered no injuries.
Keller told police that he and Jeans had "multiple drinks and shots of alcohol" at the Old Log Cabin, the complaint read. Keller added that before the crash, Jeans drove on a lawn and "ripped it up," the charging document continued.
The charges initially said that White, Keller, Jesmer and Jeans went to White's parents' house and drank more alcohol, then started out for Mallards Restaurant and Lounge. Prosecutors changed the complaint days later to read: "Alcohol may have been consumed at the parents' address (not in the home) and it was not consumed in the presence or with the permission of the victim's parents."
Keller said he believed Jeans was driving too fast and lost control in the moments before the crash.
Officers asked Jeans how much he had to drink, and he replied, "I didn't count," according to the charges.
Jeans said he spent 5 ½ hours at the Old Log Cabin and ordered seven 16-ounce bottles of light beer, but he was unsure how many he actually drank. He said he left briefly, returned and drank more at the Old Log Cabin. He acknowledged to police that he was in no condition to drive.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482